The ORII Voice Powered Smart Ring Now On Kickstarter
Recent years have witnessed a push towards the introduction of smart digital personal assistants. Arguably, the idea of the smart digital personal assistant stems back from the original Star Trek series. Star Trek was revolutionary in the way the world was presented. Some ideas were crazy for the time, such as a talking computer. Whatever next..? A personal communicator? Talking to your smart wrist watch? Video teleconferencing and a universal translator? The reason for taking this article dramatically off topic is to point out that a few years ago, an idea from science fiction seemed incredible, but there’s a good chance you’re reading this on a smartphone – how incredible was this idea just thirty years ago? And so enter the ORII Voice Powered Smart Ring, which is available for funding via the Kickstarter program.
The story behind this device is very interesting. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Wong, had the idea of helping his visually impaired father by developing a device to help him get more from his smartphone. Wong’s worry was that his dad would be at a disadvantage when it came to using a smartphone. The development of the product has been carried out by Origami Labs, founded by Wong and three others; click on the image below to see the ORII Smart Ring’s development over the months.
The ORII is built on exciting-sounding but tried-and-tested technology. Rather than use a speaker in the tiny ring, the ORII uses bone conduction technology – sound from the smartphone is sent to the ear by the bones in your finger. This means that sound quality is excellent regardless of external noise. It’s technology that’s already being used for medical-grade hearing aids: wearers simply place their finger to their ear and sound produced by the smartphone, sent to the Smart Ring via Bluetooth, is transmitted to their ear. Better yet, any sound produced by the Smart Ring is only heard by the wearer (or I suppose anybody the wearer touches with his or her finger), which keeps at least one part of the conversation private. The ORII Smart Ring contains dual noise-cancelling microphones to channel sound back to the smartphone.
The ORII has been designed to work with either Apple’s Siri or the Google Assistant, and so uses existing digital personal assistant technology in order to control your smartphone. For the Android platform, it requires version 4.4 Kit Kat or later (although it utilises notification technologies introduced with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean) and contains a multi-colour LED and vibration motor for notifications. The software also allows these notifications to be filtered so that the wearer isn’t bombarded by things he or she doesn’t need to know.
That ORII is being designed to supplement existing digital voice assistants is a key point: should a customer switch from Apple to Android, he or she will still be able to use their ORII. The Smart Ring’s voice recognition technology is triggered by two buttons on the unit itself, although an always-listening mode based on a hotword is in development. The ORII won’t ship with this but the company is planning on a software update to enable this feature.
The finished product has a battery life of up to one hour of talk time and forty five hours of standby. It takes an hour to recharge and is certified to IPX7, or splash proof. There will be a combination charger / carry case for the unit, too, with the ability to recharge the ring up to five times. It’s been designed to be “life proof,” so is built from anodized aluminum and is available in three colours, sandblasted silver, metallic dark gray and matte black. Award-winning Italian product designer, Andrea Ponti, came up with the shape and colour combination, and the ring will include band re-sizing silicon inserts for the perfect fit.
Are you interested in the ORII Voice Controlled Smart Ring? If so, the project rapidly overtook it’s funding objective on the Kickstarter website, where the Smart Ring is available from $99 and up – check out the source link below. The company is planning to ship beta products to customers in November 2017 and full scale production is scheduled for January 2018, with the final product being shipping in February.
SOURCE [ORII KickStarter]