As an inventor, my ultimate ambition is to get you to empty your pockets. This is not because I’ve turned to a life of crime or have my sights set on becoming a greedy business tycoon, but I do one day hope that you will never need to carry things around in your pockets ever again.
The reason for this I believe, is that we now have the technology to do away with clunky keys and wallets. I also believe that with the NFC Ring we have the capability to do this in a way that fits into your everyday life with something that is easy to use and looks good too.
The greatest ideas are discovered by accident
I initially came up with the idea for the NFC Ring when I was thinking about getting my wedding ring. I wanted more than just something that looked nice, I wanted it to be useful as well. I also lose my keys a lot and it occurred to me that while losing important items like keys and bank cards is a problem for millions of people, no-one has really done anything significant to try and solve it.
So I started to look for a solution. I had some NFC tags that I used to play around with and saw them as the potential technology for solving this tricky problem. The reason I chose NFC was because of its flexibility, standardization and operating range that offer nearly limitless possibilities.
Then I had to think of a suitable form factor, something that we can carry around with us but is very difficult to lose, which is where the Ring came in. The two were merged together and the first NFC Ring was born.
NFC Ring in action
After initially getting funding via crowdsourcing, we’re now on our second generation of the NFC Ring and more than 10,000 have sold. The Ring itself is suitable for a wide range of use cases, including unlocking doors and mobile phones, transferring information and linking people’s contacts with each other.
Currently we’re working on an NFC Ring that can also be used to make payments. We demonstrated the world’s first payment-enabled NFC Ring at London Fashion Week, in partnership with Visa and House of Holland and it’s something we hope to see in the market very soon.
When dealing with things like access to your home and payments, security is paramount which is why we have built in high levels of security. The NFC Ring has two tags, one public and one private. Hand gestures are used to share private data upon request. We use physical security to empower our users to control their own privacy.
As we previously saw with the trend in mobile phones, I expect to see a large growth of investment in consumer level NFC items such as digital door locks and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. We already have an active community of developers and creators who are developing new use cases for the NFC Ring all the time.
One of my latest favourites is an NFC enabled flask containing bourbon and soda but will only mix the two if the NFC Ring is nearby, preventing anyone other than the authorised user from drinking the alcohol. It’s a bit of a novelty but has potential safety applications in the real world.