NFC technology as a mobile pay technology never lived up to high expectations. Never mind, say analysts, because NFC, which stands for near field communications, as a wireless technology that can transfer data at short distances, may be the starter for innovative applications to come. A Kickstarter NFC-enabled, NFC Ring project now under way is a case in point. This is a ring made to be worn on the finger at all times, like a wedding band. The promotional video says that the ring allows the user to unlock a door lock that is NFC-enabled, unlock a smartphone just by touching it with the ring, or, for those so inclined, can hold your bitcoin address. The team behind the Android-based ring points out that it does not work easily with all NFC-enabled phones, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Blackberry Z10 to be exact.
For those devices the team warns that "you will need an alpha size ring," which is "really only for chaps with big fingers".
Pledges are for £25 and above. There is a normal size ring and an alpha man size ring. The "normal size ring" is ~7mm wide. The ring does not need battery power. The ring itself is a titanium band. Built into the ring are two inlays with NFC-ready chips in them. One of the transmitters is for public information and a smaller one on the inside is for private information. The two-inlay design was created for user security, and the wearer would be using different types of hand gestures to share different kinds of information. The ring's components are listed as a clear RFID passive coating, inlay cover, NFC inlay with NTAG 203 chip, RFID reflective material, and Titanium/steel ring.
"Creating an open source platform will enable third parties to adopt the NFC Ring and consider making their devices NFC-ready." They look forward to more NFC ring applications taking off in the future. They have exceeded their funding goal of £30,000 with a total of £40,535 at the time of this writing. The project will be funded as of August 19.
NFC Ring is from British designer John McLear. According to the site, "We have been working on developing the NFC ring for over a year, our product was invented by John McLear to automatically unlock his mobile phone and to make jewellery [sic] practical. Ultimately, John knew at some point in his life he was going to have to wear a ring, and he wanted the ring to be practical, but personal."
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More information: www.kickstarter.com/projects/mclear/nfc-ring