TechnoparkToday.com>> Jan 17, 2013: A wearable smart ring that can turn your palm into a gesture interface to control multiple devices is promising to be the next revolution in wearable technology; and it is seeking crowd funding to make its way to the market.
Fin is the first hardware product developed by Kochi-based robotics startup RHL Vision which was one among the top 15 companies at the TechCrunch CES Hardware Battlefield in Las Vegas last week. Fin was the only product selected from India for this prestigious event.
The stylish thumb ring with gesture-control capabilities has been wowing technophiles with the sheer simplicity of its concept and its ease of use. Fin is fitted with a bunch of sensors that can detect finger taps, swipes and identify various parts of the palm by calculating their distance from the thumb. It uses smart Low Energy Technology such as Bluetooth for communication with connected devices.
Fin can transmit these natural gestures as commands to any connected Bluetooth device, such as a smartphone, a music player, a gaming console, a digital interface inside a car, a television set or a home automation device.
For instance, aperson driving a car can use Fin as their key, or take phone calls or control the music player without taking their hands off the steering wheel; a smartphone user can rub their index finger against the thumb to zoom their screens in and out and they can assign numbers to different sections of their fingers, turn their hand into a numeric keypad and tap in a phone number without even touching the phone.
Made out of durable, waterproof and dustproof material, a single Fin will be capable of supporting up to three devices at a time. It will come with a custom Lithium ion battery with micro-USB charging dock and last more than one month on full charge.
RHL Vision, which is incubated at Startup Village in Kochi, has completed the Fin prototypes and testing. It is now gearing up to take the device into production and has launched a campaign on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo (http://igg.me/at/wearfin) with the target of raising USD 100,000 over 45 days.
“We are looking at wearable technology pioneers, tech-lovers, early adopters, and creative developers to support Fin and take the concept forward,” says Rohildev N, the 23-year-old founder and CEO of RHL Vision. “It is a technology with endless possibilities. We have ourselves come up with hundreds of ideas for applications to integrate with Fin, but we know that we haven’t even scratched the surface of what is possible.”
One of the most valuable applications of Fin, he thinks, will be as a companion for the physically challenged, provided they have a functional thumb. The palm can be a touch interface for the visually impaired and Fin can be used to control disability aids with the least amount of physical stress, he says.
The Indiegogo funding campaign will run until the end of February. By June the RHL team hopes to complete product/software development and testing; and launch the developers’ version. By September this year the full-feature Fin is expected to be shipped to the early backers.