A breakthrough product, called the NFC Ring, has the ability to remember your passwords, unlock your smartphone or tablet, share contact information or even start your car. It requires no power supply and can “connect” with another NFC-enabled device with the swipe of your hand.
The technological magic behind the titanium ring is called “near field communication,” or NFC. The NFC ring is designed with two data panels, a larger one on the top for public information and a smaller one on the bottom for private information, such as passwords.
A fist-bump hand gesture (exposing the top of the ring) might transfer your Twitter handle or email address to a new friend, while an open-hand gesture (exposing the bottom of the ring) might open the lock on your NFC-enabled front door or even start your car.
The ring is designed so that it must come within a millimeter of another NFC-enabled device for it to be recognized. This reduces the risk of the data being accidentally or maliciously read, according to technologyreview.com.
The ring’s two data panels are programmable by the user. The Open Source technology will allow creative developers to come up with their own uses for the NFC ring. The company is also making the CAD files available so designers can fabricate rings on their own, presumably purchasing the data panels from the company.
NFC Ring inventor John McLear got the initial funding for his project through a Kickstarter campaign, where supporters got to make a $43 donation toward a goal of $46,000. At the end of the campaign, the NFC ring had 7,665 backers and McLear had raised $380,000.
The first NFC rings will hit the market this fall. Pricing for the rings has yet to be revealed.