Wearable ring sports tiny trackpad

IDG News Service | Oct 7, 2015

When worn on your finger the ring connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and offers gesture controls of apps.

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Could this be the next hot wearable?
From Japanese start up 16Lab the Ozon is an update to a prototype ring shown a year ago. The new version is 30 percent thinner and has wireless charging, but the company still thinks more development is needed before it goes on sale.
When worn on your finger the ring connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and offers gesture controls of apps. Using a tiny touchpad on the ring's surface gives you joystick like controls. At the Ceatec expo near Tokyo, it was used to manipulate objects on screen in a development Android and iOS apps.
The ring also has NFC so it can be used as an electronic key and wallet.
We believe for most product it's slightly too big and use cases are not discovered, but as a development kit it's a high quality product and maybe for next year we launch much smaller version.
The development kit including the ring will go on sale at some point soon, but specifics and pricing weren't announced. The company is already behind schedule though. Last year the company said the ring would start shipping in the second quarter of 2015.
The success of this new class of wearable's hinges on developers. Like all new pieces of hardware, without support from a strong development community the ring doesn't stand much of a chance.
Before it can be commercialized the company will have to reduce the price of manufacturing and figure out useful apps that will help drive sales.
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