Fin is a thumb ring that monitors gestures to control your smart devices. The makers of Fin think that the idea of pushing buttons is dated and cumbersome, so like Airtype they’re taking the tactile surface away from the equation. They also want to remove consumers’ reliance upon a static sensor (like kinect) and literally put the gesture controls directly into your hand.
The upshot of this? A ring type device that sits directly on your thumb and converts subtle movements into commands for all of your gadgets.
Advantages of Fin
Fin’s mission statement is to make digital interactions as natural as possible – and it ought to make life easier by allowing 100% visibility of a tablet / smartphone screen and touchless interaction where your hands are otherwise disposed (for example, while driving). It also allows a user to remotely controlling unreachable devices where they would otherwise have to use a remote control.
Fin is pre-programmable so that different gestures across different fingers trigger different messages to devices that are connected to the ring via bluetooth. Its pretty smart in that it uses an optical sensor to detect the subtle movements in your fingers and hands to interpret the gestures into commands – according to techcrunch they hope to use biometrics to for a more robust model in the future. If you’re into the actual details, here is a long form early demo of the of the device, courtesy of techcrunch:
Is Fin Worth Buying?
Fin seems a little bit heavy duty to be walking around with on your hand, particularly when you’re carrying around a smartphone, wallet and perhaps another wearable device. Is it that difficult to use the controllers that you already have for your phone, TV, video game console and camera? Possibly not.
That being said, its early in the evolution of the wearable tech market and Fin feels like a good first stab at something that could have real utility in the future. While it looks a bit cumbersome, its beautifully designed and is probably worth a go for early adopters who want to know what it feels like to be a jedi for only $120. Without doubt, Fin will pave the way for the kind of technology that will become everyday to us, and as far as I’m concerned, that can only be a good thing.