Like FIN, Ring is a wearable input device controlled by gestures and finger movement. Unlike FIN, Ring picked a name inextricably bound to JRR Tolkien and an iconic, highly complimentary line about ruling them all, so it will probably be the more successful of the two. Creators Logbar, Inc. have also given Ring the tagline, "Shortcut everything," an option most of us living today find appealing because we are always either very busy or very lazy. Don't set your hopes too high though. In Ring's case, the "everything" we'll soon be able to shortcut is actually limited to a few things, namely text messaging, home appliance control, and bill payment.
To send a text with Ring, users need only wave their magic finger and draw letters in the air. When traced according to general directional guidelines, Ring Font software recognizes the letters and strings them together to send texts, Tweet, and post on Facebook. Its gesture detection properties can also be used in conjunction with Google Glass and smartwatches to enhance user experience and provide greater control.
Ring's Direct and Hub pairing features enable connectivity to any infrared or Wi-Fi compatible device. Once connected, Ring gestures can turn items such as lights, TVs, stereo systems, and other home appliances on and off, plus adjust their settings. Kind of like the Clapper, but all grown up and 'roided out.
Using GPS or iBeacon, Ring gestures will be able to conduct money business too, making payments easy and instant at participating (ah, there's the catch) retail stores and restaurants. It can also support person-to-person financial transactions, which is both terrific and terrible news for people who dig wagering bets with friends and, in my case, every Canadian they've ever met in a bar.
When linked to the wearer's smartphone, Ring will also vibrate or flash its LED lights as an alert to incoming calls, messages, and social media happenings.
Buy A Ring
Those who want to turn their finger into a magic wand can pledge for a Ring on Kickstarter through April 4, 2014. At printing, the shortcut to everything had amassed nearly 3 times its funding goal.
June 2015 Update: Though Ring is still working towards its most perfect state, a Zero S version of the controller is now available for direct purchase through the company's website or Amazon--follow the link below.