nfc ring-1

NFC Ring Completes Kickstarter Funding, Unlocks Your World

August 19, 2013 - Written By Nick Sutrich

Near Field Communication, or NFC, is all the rage nowadays.  You can find it on all the latest smartwatches, on NFC specific accessories, and even on ovens.  Many people have wondered just what NFC would bring to the table when it was introduced a few years ago on Android phones, and every day it seems like we’re getting a new reason to enable NFC on our phones.  The latest reason comes in the form of a small piece of jewelry most people wear every day: a ring.  This simple concept is almost so obvious it’s a wonder why no one thought of it before hand.  John McLear posted his NFC Ring project on Kickstarter on July 20th, and with August 19th being the last day of funding has surpassed his goal of £30,000 with a whopping £241,947 instead.  This is very reminiscent of other successful Kickstarter projects like Pebble and Ouya. Just what is the NFC Ring you ask?  Who better to explain it than the video put together by John McLear and team:

As you can see the NFC Ring can be used for pretty much anything you can think of.  The NFC Ring is brilliantly designed with two sections: a little over half of the ring, or the top side, is a “public” section that’s exposed to the world.  The underside 1/3 of the NFC Ring is a “private” section since it’s inside your hand.  Open your hand and open palm something to scan the private section, or just fist bump the outside to read what’s stored on the public section.  As the video states this is done without the need for batteries or charging, and is a simple pairing and storing mechanism brought about by NFC.  The most obvious idea is unlocking your phone since that’s probably the thing you use most in any given day.  Most likely you’d store the unlock code on the private section of the ring, and when you grab your phone the private back of the ring touches the back of your phone and makes an NFC transaction, in this case telling your phone that you want it unlocked.  It’s a new kind of security measure that makes unlocking both more secure and just plain faster than typing in a pin or swipe gesture.

nfc ring app

But what if you want to use it for other things?  Many places sell NFC locks for doors, so you can install one of these bad boys and unlock your house without ever having to worry about losing your house keys again.  Since NFC is passive this is a secure method of transferring the unlock code to your door, and can thus be used by your NFC Ring.  You can also store any favorite photos, contact information, notes, or anything else you can think of on your ring.  Sometimes it’s just more convenient to fist bump someone rather than phone bumping.  Thankfully the software used to program the NFC ring is open source, and as such will likely be brought to great use as popularity of the NFC Ring increases.  Much like Android, the NFC Ring’s open source nature makes it easier for developers to make their own versions of that software, including modifications or even complete rewrites in certain cases.  If you want to learn more about the NFC Ring, check out the official Kickstarter page and read all about it.  Since the Kickstarter funding window is over, you’ll have to wait until this is sold to the public.  Currently the NFC Ring is scheduled to be in the hands of Kickstarter backers by October, and if Pebble or Ouya are to be used as examples you should be able to buy one publicly just after that happens.