In the wide world of crowd-funding unicorns, smart rings have been hustling for the top of the heap. Among them is Ring, a gesture device that promised to let you someday control your own home with a series of arcane finger wags. I just saw it in action on the CES floor and it seems like it works – but damn does it look stupid.
Ring works by pairing to your phone, at which point you can use the Ring app and a series of pre-programmed or custom gestures to do things like call an Uber car to your location, or turn on and off smart appliances by hooking them up to the Ring Hub.
I didn't have a chance to try gestures with a paired unit, but I saw a few of Ring's people showing it off. They made it look surprisingly capable; a lot better than some of the piss-poor reviews that have been floating around.
Of course, that doesn't change the fact that the ring itself is big, uncomfortable and ugly as sin – a high price to pay for such specific functionality. Even if it works perfectly, it's still Google Glass for your hands. It wasn't 1,000 percent unwieldy when I kept my hand loose, but it definitely got in the way when I tried to compress my fingers or make a fist. And I mean, just look at how much this thing sticks out. It's like a knuckle-duster.
Ring says the battery life for the gadget is approximately 18 days, which is better than a smartwatch but still awfully often to charge your, ahem, ring. And that's not to mention other little caveats like the fact that Ring's minimum operating temperature is listed as a balmy 50 degrees fahrenheit.
But for Americans who wants to throw money out the door and hope it makes the future happen, Ring is available in the US this March with pre-orders starting this week for a fairly sizeable $270. UK pricing or even international shipping details are unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on your opinion of ticking-off tech – still a-missing.
Look, we're all for weird shit but are we really ready for a future that looks like this?