Have you ever wanted to wave your hand to unlock a door or transfer your contact information by simply touching a phone? How about keeping all of your top secret passwords at arm's length, literally? Well, with this Kickstarter-funded near field communication-enabled ring, all that could soon be possible.
The technology behind the NFC ring is strikingly simple. It's nothing more than a titanium band and two inlays with NFC-ready chips in them. There's a big one on the top of the ring for public information and a smaller one on the inside for private information. This is designed to enable the wearer to use different types of hand gestures in order to share different kinds of information.
What that information might be is totally up the wearer. As suggested above, the NFC signal can perform simple tasks like unlocking a smartphone or your front door. You can store all kinds of personal data including URLs that you want to share easily with your friends, and even save the code for your Bitcoin fortune. It can be programmed to work as your key fob and actually serve as a replacement for your car's ignition button. This is all assuming the rings make it off of the assembly line in working order, of course.
One of the coolest aspects of the NFC ring project is how open creator John McLear is about how he builds the rings. In addition to selling the rings for $US38 a piece through a Kickstarter -- they just reached their goal of $US46,000 with nearly a month to spare -- McLear put the CAD files for the ring so people can hack the design and 3D print rings themselves. McLear and company say they plan to use any and all Kickstarter money they raise to expand the business, improve the rings and come up with more offerings.
For now, the ring will work with an Android app, although it can be hacked to work on Windows and BlackBerry devices. There's no word on iOS compatibility, but since Apple products don't have NFC capabilities, we're guessing it's pretty far down the pipeline. In the near term, the goals include things like offering a steel option and developing a Windows app. In the long run, McLear hopes to offer different coloured inlays (including wood) and to design an all black "stealth bomber" ring. Because it always helps to make wearable computing fashionable too. [Kickstarter via TechCrunch]