When touchscreen tablets were introduced to the world, people had to get used to a totally new method of computing, with the use of different multi-touch gestures to recreate certain functionalities that were normally done by a mouse and/or keyboard. While some functions were easier to perform with gestures, people still pined for the mouse as an additional input device.
Well the folks at Cnet recently got a demonstration of a prototype of an upcoming tablet accessory called The Ringbow: a ring-mounted, wireless pointing stick. It is basically a mini d-pad joystick that’s attached to a ring mount which you wear on your finger. Using your thumb to operate the joystick, you can easily use additional functions in an app by pressing the controller in one of four directions (up, down, left, right).
While a device like this could really benefit tablet users and add a whole new level of functionality to the device, The Ringbow has one flaw: app developers would have to code in special Ringbow shortcuts in order for the device to work with it, if not it’s just a hunk of useless plastic wrapped around your finger. The Ringbow is versatile could be used in various apps such as Photoshop to quickly switch brushes, or undo a move, and even in games where it can function as a regular d-pad, letting users play better with the tactile feedback provided from the accessory.
But nobody wants to develop an app for something that’s unproven and not standard (not everybody who owns a tablet will have one), and without any apps available on the market, The Ringbow won’t sell very well. What do you think of The Ringbow? Will it be something that’s dead on arrival or will developers see the potential of the device and create apps to take advantage of it? Watch a video demonstration of the Ringbow: