If you’re a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings books and movies, you’re sure to be intrigued by California-based startup, Logbar, and their new home automation device – Ring. This “precious” item is one of the more intriguing pieces of hardware to emerge in the smart home tech space and allows customers to shortcut many everyday things around their home or office.
The Ring is a wearable device slightly larger than a standard fashion ring and is designed to interact with home automation products using gestures. It is made using a variety of sensors and electronics that make it possible for you to control your smart home appliances including TVs, computers and lighting via Bluetooth. Users can play music, shop online, activate a camera, call up messages, and many other useful functions.
Similar in some ways to the Nintendo Wii remote, the Ring works through gesture controls. Some gestures include swiping, tapping and waving. Users can even draw letters in the air if they are writing a text message. In addition, the device can finalise payments via gesture-based authorisation.
The Ring transmits vibrations generated from a wearer’s gestures to connected devices. In turn, it also sends through any alerts that come from gadgets that have been connected with it. The Ring has an onboard LED and a vibration motor that senses movements and relays information. For optimum gesture control with the Ring, even the smallest finger movements can be detected by its sensitive controls.
In addition to standard preset gestures, customers can configure their own custom gestures if they’d prefer. This can be set up using the device’s companion app, suitable for both Android and iOS devices.
The smart home product pairs with Bluetooth 4.0 devices that are compatible with its software. It can also be used in tandem with Wi-Fi or IR-capable devices that connect to a hub accessory. The Ring speaks to the smart hub, at which point commands are passed on.
Apart from the fun of controlling gadgets with a piece of jewellery, the Ring will also be beneficial in other ways. Purchasers can use the device while driving or other activities that keep their hands otherwise engaged. The device is also handy for the visually impaired. For example, those with limited or no sight could use the gadget to control things around the home or office such as phones, computers and speakers at the flick of finger.
The Ring vs Fin
The Ring has been compared to another wearable jewellery gadget, the Fin. The major difference between the two is how interactions with the smart home device are recorded. The Fin goes around the thumb, meaning that swipes and taps are more suited to ‘hand-gestures’. In contrast, the Ring is worn on the index finger and the device only makes note of movement in that particular finger, not all five. It is expected to allow a greater suite of gestures and functionality that Fin.
Logbar Ring Specs
Logbar, the company behind the Ring, has recently started producing the gadget. It launched a campaign on Kickstarter in order to gain funding and raised more than USD$880,000. Funds came from over 5,000 backers, and far surpassed the company’s original target of USD$250,000. The company itself is only a year old yet has offices in both Japan and the United States. It recently won first prize at the TechCrunch Tokyo 2013 Startup Battle and since launch has been solely focused on the creation of the Ring. It has focused on devising a way to develop the appropriate level of software while at the same time reducing power consumption and increasing efficiency.
At this point in time, the Ring is sold online via the company’s website for USD$269.99, excluding international shipping costs. Go to the company’s website to place an order.