Magic ring prototypes

Hideaki Matsui's ring-based concept made the blog rounds this week, and it's only the latest of a trend of ring-shaped ubicomp devices (as helpfully cataloged by Yanko Design):

Right now they replicate simple functions that may be done better by other technologies (Matsui's design, for example, is very close to IBM's Personal Area Network from 1996, but embodied in a ring). However, that's not the point. What's interesting to me is that people have started to think about the capabilities of rings as a form factor for the development of devices. It no longer seems far fetched to design functionality in this way. As with many objects that are a product of their time, the idea is reinvented seemingly simultaneously in multiple locations as culture churns through the possibilities. That process generally predicts the actual development of an actually useful product (followed by a lot of people grousing that htye thought of it first). That's exciting because it means that an actually useful enchanted ring device may be forthcoming.

This also tangentially reminds me of NTTDoCoMo's FingerWhisper bone conduction phone speaker project (which was supplanted in the market by Bluetooth headsets, but had lots of potential), and I predict it's only a matter of time before someone comes out with a cell phone concept that's a ring or a bracelet, or both.

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Kuniavsky published on January 18, 2008 2:50 PM.

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