This ring has built-in NFC chip, can be used for unlocking doors, making payments, and moreJuly 26, 2013 1 Email article | Print article
The potential of NFC or Near Field Communication is astounding. When you stop and think about just how many ways the technology can be used it consumes your brain. There are so many applications possible that it’s a wonder the technology hasn’t taken off by now. In fact, I’ll admit I’m a little sad to see NFC taking so long to be accepted on a mainstream level.
Imagine going to the store and tapping your phone against the register to check out instantly, or returning home from vacation with your hands full of luggage and tapping your phone to your front door to unlock your house. Like I said, the possibilities really are endless.
If John McLear, the founder of the NFC Ring and related Kickstarter campaign is successful, we may soon be able to wear the technology on our person. As of the time of this writing, the campaign is definitely going to be funded with a pledge amount of £79,268 out of a mere £30,000 goal.
The ring itself can be used in many different ways thanks to the inclusion of two separate NFC inlays. One is designed to maintain public information like an email address, Twitter handle, or alternate contact information. The other inlay holds private and secure data like payment information, and an unlock code for a door or padlock.
The first thing you’re going to ask is likely, how secure is this thing? Well, that’s probably one of the coolest features of the NFC Ring. The inlay which stores the private information is both smaller and faces toward the inside or palm of your hand. That way, users have control over what information is transmitted and when. If you open your fist and face your palm out, the private information will be transmitted- allowing you to unlock a smartphone or padlock and even transmit sensitive information. When your fist is closed, all information is kept secure.
Obviously, there are some limitations with the security. For example, if you wear the ring improperly, lose it or someone else gains access to it. Any one of these scenarios could certainly cause issues.
Still, it’s neat to see NFC technology finally being implemented the way it originally should have. I really hope this technology catches on, because there’s a general convenience behind it all.
If you’re wondering what kinds of things the NFC Ring could be used for, here are some quick examples.
It can be used to unlock a smartphone or tablet, without entering a passcode or unlock pattern. You simply press the ring against the device and wallah! In a similar fashion, it could be used to unlock doors equipped with devices like the Lockitron.
Ever go to an amusement park and worry about jumping on the water rides, because your wallet will get all soggy? With technology like this you could simply wear a ring and check out by tapping it against the register or some type of NFC enabled payment system. Forget bringing your wallet with you everywhere.
Can you think of any unique uses for an NFC Ring like this? Go ahead and share them in the comments below.