Most smart rings look pretty dumb. Nobody really needs a little screen on their finger to tell them when they get a text message. However, I almost want to wear this 3D-printed a Bluetooth Ö ring with a teeny tiny OLED that can display Elvish text. Almost.
Wearing the ring isn't exactly the point, though. There have been a number of (dumb) smart rings pop up in crowdfunding campaigns that promise huge things in microscopic packages. The Ö ring's creator, Kevin Bates, told Gizmodo in an email that he wanted to shed some light on whether or not those promises hold water:
I made this just to see how small I could get the technology. I became inspired after seeing several crowdfunding campaigns for smart rings become hugely successful. I wanted to see if it was possible to develop a technology more advanced than what they had displayed in their promotional materials. …
In general, I think people should be more skeptical of hardware crowdfunding and demand to see more behind the scenes operation of the underlying technology.
We couldn't agree more! Bates is the mastermind behind other tiny electronic miracles as this business card-sized Gameboy (a.k.a. the Arduboy) and this Tetris-playing bracelet. So he knows what he's doing. You'll also notice that his smart ring isn't nearly as small as crowdfunded smart rings promise to be.
Of course, it's always possible that someone else has figured out a better design. But it's smart to be skeptical before surrendering your hard earned cash on something that doesn't exist. [Arduboy]