Get ready for the Internet of Rings. Today's the last day to jump on the earlybird bandwagon for Ring, which has completely cleaned house over on Kickstarter. In case you missed the digital memo, Ring is a wearable device that allows you to "control anything" and "shortcut everything" (or so its creators at Logbar claim). Enticingly vague promises, backed up by tight tech design and a pretty intense bank of R&D. The innovation at the heart of the device is fine gesture recognition—put it on your finger, tap the side to activate and your finger's moves are registered and transmitted to the device of choice. From there, you get a lot of functionality: control appliances, send texts, make payments through Ring's gateway, and get vibration or LED notifications. If you can sync it, you can rule it with Ring.
To futz with your Bluetoothed lamp, draw a lamp in the air. To draft a letter, draw a letter and then start spelling. The instant payment feature is a little surprising, but an interesting take on the common interaction. In addition to the "built in" symbols and controls, you can add your own personalized finger-commands. They're opening the API for app developers who want to get in on the Ring game, and have a store to make Ring-related apps easy to find. The charging dock is pretty boss, and they estimate it can perform about 1,000 gestures per charge. They're also offering it in a range of sizes, so you apes and dainty types aren't out of luck.
Onward, to the future!
Fingersome emails while you're on the treadmill. Quick switching of tunes from across the room. The ability to pay for something without reaching for your wallet. All pretty cool, honestly. While I'm not sure that turning off my lamps with an airy finger swipe is the future I've been waiting for, the fact that this internetted and gesture-analyzing thing is as wearable as a gaudy class ring deserves huge respect. Plus it's the perfect gift for that technofuturist who has everything. WTF is my wearable strategy indeed.
Still, I can't help but think that the pitch vid would have been the perfect opportunity to reprise Darth Volkswagen:
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Aside from all the airy gestures users will need to learn (or come up with), I don't get why there's a writing feature. Writing by drawing lines with your finger tips is so much more inefficient than using a touch screen or a pen.
Also, what happens if you make a mistake when sending money. The Gesture shown in the video seems awfully close to the gesture I'd use to cross out my text.
Still, though I'm skeptical, and the ring ignores meaningful forms of feedback (you can never tell if you actually wrote), I have to admit that a part of me is excited about the tech.
That actually sounds like a lot of work, but at least I don't have to get off of my couch when I want to turn the light off.