NFC Ring 2016 Launch - Press / Media / Ambassador Frequently asked questions
Isn't this just a different looking ring?
In the same way a new playstation is a different loooking playstation. The technology we use has advanced drastically and this means a much more positive user experience.
How did this ring come about?
The ring solves multiple problems but the initial core problem was that of security and access control. The ring is an ideal replacement for house keys. John McLear is the inventor of the NFC Ring, development took over a year as he wanted a ring with was stealthy enough to go unnoticed by his friends and colleagues. He also wanted the ring to be metal, plastic rings are really uncomfy and have a tacky feel. The NFC Ring can be worn in all conditions (see ntag203 spec sheet), all year round. See http://nfcring.com/timeline for the NFC Ring timeline to date.
How many rings can I wear?
As many as you want but we recommend having a gap between each finger so that the rings don't scratch against each other and do avoid Radio Crosstalk.
What operating systems will be supported at Launch?
Android, Windows 8+, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Linux/Unix
Which OS' support NFC unlock/login?
Android, Windows 8+, Linux/Unix
What's the deal with 3D printing my own ring out at home?
We provide an STL file for 3D printing your own NFC Ring, we will ship you some of our inlays. We're doing this to show our love for the hacker community and to get as many people with access to prototyping and developing as quickly and as affordable as possible.
What operating systems will be supported after Launch?
We try to support any OS that includes open APIs for NFC (For Apple devices you can use a Flomio device)
What other hardware devices can interact with the ring?
Raspberry Pi and Arduino both have NFC modules available that work great with the ring. Digital door locks (Samsung etc) also work great.
Why chose open source and what does it mean for the project?
Why put two inlays in the ring?
For privacy. One inlay is private, one inlay is public. Different hand gestures mean different information is shared. The initial ring prototypes had one inlay and this meant everytime you shared some public information such as a twitter link you are sharing some private information such as a code for a digital door lock.
What is the read distance?
Up to 1cm. This is a feature not a bug. You can't have any security if the inlays can be read from a distance. We basically say that this is "touch" technology. Another note on this is that even if you have a really powerful antenna and try to read the inlay from a distance the ring is designed in such a way to keep your private inlay secure.
How many rings currently exist?
50 wood inlays, 1 completely clear, 100 or so prototypes (mostly 3D printed).
What can the ring be used for?
Unlocking doors, Unlocking mobile phones, sharing URLS, sharing information, logging into computers, configuring environments to be personalized. John uses his for his digital door locks, to share contact information and as a replacement for his car ignition button.
Which digital door locks work with the ring?
Any NFC door lock will work. We recommend the Samsung SHS-2421 as a good digital door lock that is easy to fit. This is available through our store
What will the price be at launch?
Ranging from 30$ to 600$.
What size rings are available?
Ring sizes 4.5 to 16. Specifically 4.5, 5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 13, 14, 15, 16
What is the storage capacity of each inlay in the ring?
Is the inlay actual NFC and not an imitation?
Yes, we use the NTAG216 chip.
Can I purchase the 6mm inlay directly?
Only during Kickstarter.
What is the width of the ring?
Can the ring be used to make payments?
We made payment rings for Visa and showed them off on the 18th of September 2015 making them the worlds first payment rings. It is however far too early to bring this technology into any production level product. The current available POS and IC technology is no where near consumer ready.
Is the data stored on the ring encrypted or secured?
Your physical security is the security, there is no encryption however encrypted data can be written to the ring. It is very similar to a door key but with the option to be more secure should you choose.
Can I purchase rings in bulk for my exhibition/company or so?
After Kickstarter we will be taking orders of bulk purchases of the ring.
Who is behind the product?
John McLear, the founder of Primary Technology and the Etherpad Foundation. Matt Mullenweg, the founder of Wordpress (Automattic) and various other projects.
Is the ring Waterproof?
Yes, tested up to 50 meters.
What other hardware platforms support the ring?
Arduino, Raspberry Pi
Can the ring hold more than one key? For example, could it store the key to unlock my phone as well as the key to my door??
Yes. Most digital door locks use the ID of the Inlay, the NFC Ring Unlock app uses some data stored on the inlay data section so you can use both. It's also worth noting each ring has more two inlays, so in theory you could store 2 NFC Unlock sections and 2 Door unlock sections (and / or anything else that unlocks based on ID)
Does Android need to be rooted to use native or your app?
What if someone steals another person's ring? Is there a remote deactivation ability?
If someone steals your ring it's similar to if someone steals your house key.
Realizing it's been stolen:
We challenged a pickpocket to steal our ring vs stealing our keys and whilst he was able to steal both relatively easy we noticed the ring had gone more frequently than the house keys.
Replacing the damage:
With a normal house key when it is stolen you have to replace the entire door lock. With an NFC Ring you just hit a reset button and use the graceful fall-back mechanism (numpad) until you get a replacement ring.
Same logic applies to a phone.
When do I send my details, ring size and covers etc?
All of these details will be collected towards the end/after our Kickstarter project ends.
Can I put the Inlay into my existing metal wedding ring or band?
No. We have a division called "Noir" which does high end one off pieces.
Can I use the NFC Ring with my iPhone / Apple device
If you use a Flomio NFC device then you can.
Isn't ceramic really fragile?
Not when you make it right, it took us two years to develop our ring blank and it's been tested both in the lab and in the field
How many test units are being worn in the real world right now?
~200 or so units have been tested in real world scenarios for about 6 months now. We're up to our 400th or so revision so we're really confident in our final design.
Is "NFC Ring" a trademarked term?
Do we have patents covering our technology?
How should I get my ring size?
Visit a jeweler and ask them for your ring size in US size. Alternatively get a ring size testing tool. Don't use an online template, they aren't accurate.