We assume the folks at Nod took one look at Google Glass and countless almost identical smartwatch concepts, and dismissed them as obtrusive; their response is Nod, described (by the Nod website, natch) as “the future of gesture control”.
The $150 ring sits on your index finger and “just like magic” (or, judging by the video, somewhat like a really small laser pointer/air mouse attached to your digit) enables you to control compatible apps and systems. The Nod website talks about screen-based search presentations, adjusting heating and lighting, controlling music players, and, um, slicing up defenceless fruit and veg in Fruit Ninja. Add a second ring and you can control more complex games, at the expense of playing a first-person shooter while looking like you’re conducting a miniature orchestra.
The ring itself is positioned very much as a premium product: it’s made from jewellery-grade stainless steel “contoured to provide a comfortable fit”, and is waterproof to 50 metres. Inside, there are two CPUs and “flexible circuitry”, Nod’s website remarking that “every trace is routed by hand, then optimally placed for the strongest possible signal, giving Nod’s antenna an impressive 30-foot range”.
Nod claims a high degree of precision control at distance (32,000 dpi accuracy for movement), and that the ring lasts a “day of active use” on a single charge. As an added bonus, buy the wrong size and Nod will replace your ring for free.
It’s unclear in real-world use whether Nod’s “just like magic” claims will prove to be true, or whether Nod will become yet another input device casually tossed on to a big pile of tech also-rans. Still, we’re counting down the days until some analyst or other argues that Apple is doomed if it doesn’t immediately immerse itself in the ‘smartring’ arena…