Fund This: Ring, the touchless gesture controller to everything

An impressive Kickstarter project out of Japan was launched recently called Ring. No, it doesn't involve a haunted videotape. This smart ring detects movement with enough fidelity to recognize gestures drawn in the air by an index finger and transmit them to your iPhone. Using the iOS app, users can program those gestures to execute commands, such as translating into text, launching apps, or approving transactions. A small sensor on the inside has to be touched in order to initiate a command, plus there's a vibration motor and LEDs in there to let you know about incoming notifications from your iPhone. There's going to be a Ring store which highlights apps that make use of Ring's API, and they've already tested it with a few popular accessories, like Philips Hue, AR Drone, Google Glass, and WeMo.

In the home, the Ring can be connected to a separate hub which can transmit gestures via an IR blaster to home entertainment systems, or connected appliances on the Wi-Fi network. 6 sizes of rings will be available, and will include a spiffy portable charging stand. Battery life is enough for 1000 gestures, though the exact time in battery life still needs to be nailed down.

Though this is certainly an interesting evolution of gesture recognition, it isn't entirely new. Fin had successfully funded another gesture-based ring, but it was awkwardly set for the thumb. Leap Motion has been polishing touchless gesture for PC for some time now, but a wearable like the Ring or the Myo could bring the same functionality to mobile.

There are still a few of these available at the early bird price of $165, though the $145 tier is all dried up. The Ring will be hitting retail this August for $189. Head over to their Kickstarter page for more details. Who's interested?

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Fund This: Ring, the touchless gesture controller to everything

25 Comments

This, like the Leap Motion, seems to be an idea that is interesting but not entirely practical for everyday use. I can definitely see some niche applications but I don't see this taking off.

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I'd have to try one if I would get one. They need to a least show a good demo of why people really should get one, this video doesn't help too much. Plus it seems the ring is a bit thick. That kind of turns me away...it would need to be less noticeable and dimple looking.

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My favorite Rhinemaiden from Wagner's "The Ring" is Flosshilde.
Because she's hot, she's German, and she's a mermaid.

Seems interesting. I'm sure the technology will become better eventually. This ring seems massive. Maybe it will become small enough to pass as a normal ring one day. But no thanks to this product for now.

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Two problems:

1. It's ridiculously enormous.
2. Text input is very clumsy and inefficient.

Maybe if it was a chic ring that vibrates when you get a notification on your phone it could be okay but, as it is, it tries to do too much in a thing your are unlikely to wear day-in-day-out.

That said, I'll give these guys props for trying something interesting. Also, for being honest about the device. Remember the smarty ring on Indiegogo? Those thieves stole nearly $300K by promising the impossible.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/smarty-ring

Now, this is starting to become overkill. What's next? Earrings or how about a belt. Let's please stop! I wish you wouldn't even waste the time reporting on these type of stories. I've decided I want comment on anything of such anymore.

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It's a cool idea but it reminds me of my HP PDA back in the day. It had a stylus but in order to write and have the PDA recognize it I had to memorize the letters because the gestures were different than normal writing. This is similar because I have to remember the gestures for lightbulb etc. The more there are the more complicated things will get.

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