As Ring meets its Kickstarter goal, we wonder — Is it just vaporware?



Many of our readers may have read over on TechCrunch recently that ‘Ring,’ a hardware device that ostensibly gives you the ability to control devices when worn on your finger, has been funded via a Kickstarter project.

The device previously took top honors at the 2013 TechCrunch Tokyo Startup Battle. But despite that achievement, I continue to encounter skeptics who think that Ring might be little more than vaporware at this stage – or at the very least, that it its makers have a big challenge ahead if they hope to bring it to market.

Personally, I really hope that Ring is every bit as good as it looks. But I thought I’d ask the folks at LogBar, the startup behind the device if I could perhaps get a demo of Ring. A representative told me via email that they plan to attend the upcoming Wearable Tech Expo in Tokyo where they will speak on stage, but they’re undecided whether they will do a demo or not. I asked if they could explain more about how their battery works 1, but the company has yet to reply on this point.

Our readers may recall that we have previously featured another wearable ring device, Ringu, made by the folks at Keio University’s Mixed Reality Lab. I asked Dr. Adrian Cheok (of Keio University’s MRL and City University London) about the challenges they faced in finding a battery for their ring, and he explained:

From my experience it seems very very tough to fit everything in their ring size and also the battery. We searched almost every manufacturer and we found the minimum size of rechargeable battery was about 1.5 to 2cm for anything that can last for a few hours for our Bluetooth haptic ring.

It’s possible that the folks at LogBar could find some advanced technology that would do the trick, but he remains somewhat doubtful.

The Ring project is a very ambitious one, and I do hope the folks at LogBar can succeed. But ultimately I think that excitement over its potential should be held in check until we see a working demo at least. So far we’ve seen some impressive promotional material, a blurry video, and not too much else.

As for the other Ring project, Ringu, from Keio’s Mixed Reality Lab, they’re gearing up for their own launch event upcoming on April 9th at Sparklabs Global Demo Day, which will be held in Seoul.

  1. I inquired with the company yesterday afternoon. ↩