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Can a ring control everything?

10 Mar 2014  | Jean-Pierre Joosting

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Is it possible for a single piece of technology, say a ring, to be so powerful a tool as to control everything, just like the one from The Lord of the Rings? For Logbar Inc., it seems achievable.

Logbar has developed Ring, a wearable input device that lets the user perform a multitude of tasks such as gesture control of smart appliances and devices, send texts, pay bills and so on. The company is currently running a kickstarter campaign and to get the device mass-produced, with shipping expected to start in 2014.

Ring uses a Bluetooth Low Energy signal to connect to smart devices. Ring detects the movement of the finger that is inside and identifies the gesture being made. Gestures can be performed anytime and anywhere. Many IP companies are in the development of this gesture recognition technology with a particular focus on the accuracy of recognition and power consumption.

The device provides four functions: a gesture control function to control home appliances and apps; texting where gesturing of letters in the air enables the user to write a text; payment information transmission to settle payment of bills with a single gesture; and a receive/alert function to detect incoming transmissions/alerts through built-in vibration and LED.

Each application has its own unique gesture mark and is activated when the user performs the designated action. Gestures can also be edited and customised via a smartphone or tablet.

Ring uses precise letter recognition software called Ring Font that enables users to type letters anywhere, anytime. This enables the use of Twitter, Facebook or other social network features, sending of texts, and even changing the station on the TV, by performing a simple gesture.

To control appliances and devices, Ring connects via Bluetooth directly or via Hub pairing. Hub is a routing device that enables the sending and receiving of Infrared or Wi-Fi signals to connect Ring to devices that do not support Bluetooth.

Ring supports payments using IBeacon or GPS to enable fast payments at participating retails stores, restaurants and even between individuals. It supports direct number payment that only requires tracing a number with a finger or checkmark payment that allows quick payments by gesturing a checkmark.

Currently, Ring has been tested with the iPhone, iPad, Andorid, PCs and wearable devices such as Google Glass and smart watches, home control devices, web services including Twitter, Facebook, Evernote, amongst others, and iOS native apps.

Ring has a rechargeable battery and is expected to provide approximately 1000 recharge cycles.

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