[CEATEC 2014] There is just something alluring about wearing a ring, as men who are in love try as far as possible to adhere to the 2-month or 3-month salary rule to purchase an engagement ring for the one they love, while fictional stories point to the One Ring that “rules them all”, so to speak. Having said that, it is not a surprise at all to hear that 16Lab has come up with a wearable computing device that comes in the form of a ring. Made out of titanium (although the prototypes that we saw also include a model that is a mixture of titanium, plastic and other materials), this particular wearable computing ring intends to be used as a gesture controller, an alert tool, non-contact keys, and an e-wallet.
Capable of detecting user motions in a precise manner, allowing it to double up as an impromptu mouse, “keyboard” in devices like Google Glass, and other similar functionalities, although one would not hesitate to think that it would be pretty tough and inefficient to actually type out a long document without a keyboard. Heck, writing would be a whole lot faster as well as opposed to using gestures.
Still, this particular wearable device is on rack for a 2nd quarter launch, and pre-orders for it ought to open up to the masses in select markets later this year. Having said that, pre-orders are important simply because the ring is going to be made out of titanium – and having a snug fit is ideal, otherwise being too loose would mean inaccurate gestures and movement. Hence, just like an engagement or wedding ring, one would need to make sure it has a good fit beforehand.
The target for this wearable computing device is to achieve a 20 hour battery life per full charge, and this particular battery should be able to withstand a thousand charge and discharge cycles, making it work for approximately three years thereabouts with a single charge per day as you return home. 16Lab places plenty of emphasis on the reliability and safety of its battery, which is why the lithium polymer battery will make use of custom-made components to ensure the highest quality possible for consumers. Do take note that regardless of the size of the ring, the battery will still be of a standard size.
Mr. Manabu Tago is the designer behind this wearable computing ring, and he is no stranger to picking up design awards from within his area of expertise. Pricing details remain unknown as at press time, although knowing that it will be made out of titanium, it does not look as though the final product is going to be cheap or affordable to the masses. Could this be the Vertu of the wearable computing niche market?
Oh yeah, did we mention – this unique device from 16Lab is also waterproof, meaning you can wear it even when you swim or take a bath. Hopefully the final version that is released to the masses will have varied designs, as this one might be a wee bit too bulky for those who want something minimal.