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NFC Ring app for Windows Phone demoed on video, coming late November

We’ve reported in the past about the NFC Ring Kickstarter project where users can purchase a ring that will use NFC for a multitude of functions. If the Kickstarter fund hit enough money, the developers agreed to make a Windows Phone 8 app and indeed that is what has happened thanks to your contribution.

Now, we get our first look at the NFC Ring App for Windows Phone. Although the video says it’s available in the Store, we have not been able to locate it yet (perhaps it is a private beta). The app was supposed to be a PhoneGap release and that looks to be the case. It’s bold and clear looking with the sole purpose of programming your NFC Ring for various functions, including launching Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, a website etc. In fact, since it is NFC, you can tell it to do very specific tasks.

The NFC Ring has recently switched from a stainless steel build to a more premium nickel-free titanium. That’s the good news, the bad news is it has caused a delay and now shipments aren’t expected until late November or early December. Basically, all 25,000 of the NFC inlays stopped working with the titanium build so the team had to re-design it to get it to work. However, readability has now improved so there’s that upside too.

The NFC Ring is a fascinating project as you can use the ring to unlock doors (if you have an NFC lock), share your contact details, launch apps and on Android devices unlock your phone. Windows Phone has an annoying confirmation dialog window and NFC can’t unlock it either. Those are things though that Microsoft could theoretically fix and we may see such improvements in GDR3 or Windows Phone 8.1.

The NFC Ring operates with two inlays – one ‘public’ the other ‘private’ – so you can have two options for programming. For the public, you could have your contact details, making the ring act as a virtual business card, while the inner private inlay can unlock your door or launch and app. It should be interesting to see what people choose to do with the new wearable technology.

Seeing as we contributed to the project, we’ll of course be getting a ring, so expect a hands on demo when it finally ships. For now, you can watch the two videos above with one featuring the new Windows Phone app and the other being the demo of the project.

Source: YouTube; Thanks, MBaumi, for the tip

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • Might NFC finally become useful and dare I say, relevant? :o
  • Maybe..just maybe.
  • It already is "useful" for me. I use NFC with my little portable Sony speaker. This ring might make it more useful, though.
  • I follow the AFC more but NFC wins more championships.
  • Lol
  • LOL.. Good humor for a dull day like today..! Thank you!
  • I give this ring the finger.
  • LMAO!
  • I'm thinking it's going to end up like Bluetooth, unused almost to the point of irrelevance but now a defacto standard part of a lot of tech.
  • Yeah, nobody uses BT. What?
  • I know. No one uses Bluetooth for file transfer, wireless headphones, handsfree comunication or anything else you can do with Bluetooth. It is unheard of that anyone has a wireless keyboard and mouse that uses Bluetooth.
  • Well, duh...
  • What an idiotic statement.
  • I think he meant that Bluetooth was so little used in the early years, that it almost died out. Now it's everywhere.
  • I use Bluetooth all the time. Car radio. Wireless speakers. Head phones. Media sharing, multiplayer gaming.. What part of,the world do u,live in where no one uses Bluetooth? U should,move.
  • Patiently awaiting my Stealth Bomber edition.
  • This seems cool, but I am not sure what I can use it for.
  • Use it for NFCing
  • Make sure you show this off to your iPhone friends since they don't have NFC. I know I am.
  • I definitely need to show my iPhone friends this ring to show them I am more manly with my pretty NFC ring. They totally wont ask if it came out of a cereal box.
  • Maybe you should stop hanging out under bridges.
  • If you really believe that then I have a bridge to sell you.
  • How much? I'm currently living in a tower with my girlfriend. She insists on using her hair for everything.
  • Don't show it off to,your android friends. They will laugh and tour feelings maybe hurt. They have a whole fully functional watch that makes this look boring
  • First try to explain what this ring is for. I understand it's cool and it has an app. What else? Second, why would anybody write their phone PIN on their wrist? That' almost what this ring does. Whoever hits you in the head and swipes your phone by your wrist has access to all your apps. I think wearing a ring like this would cause a sharp increase in your life insurance premium.
  • If someone hits you in the head then you have a bigger problem than somebody taking your phone and knowing to touch it against your ring so he can have access to all your fart apps.
  • Hahaha! Bam!
  • Would this be a bad idea for a wedding band?
  • I'm already planning on bringing it up to my wife when I "accidentally" lose my current wedding band. :-)
  • I'll be honest, I'd consider wearing it just to launch the brightness setting. I use it multiple times a day. Tapping it to a fashionable looking ring would be much easier than unlocking, digging through settings, etc.
    First I've heard of this, but seems cool.
  • Awesome I love this more epic apps like this on Windows Phone!
  • OMG..what would happen if you didn't wear the ring and u didn't have a lock on your phone at all, when you get hit in the head, they would still have access to all your fart apps...BUT, what if you hit them in the head, while wearing the ring, sounds like a good defensive
  • And use the fart apps to distract them while you swing. Brilliant.
  • i've bought this ring, but until MS not realized something like "trusted NFC" without annoying confirmation - it will be useles i think :(
  • I agree.
  • From all the useless projects, this is definitely my favourite. I may buy this ring just for the fun of it
  • +1, same here
  • Wow, seriously?
    The one project that allows you to use your authentication info MOST NATURALLY is one of the most useless projects?!
    I tip my hat to you, sir.
  • One ring to rule them all.
  • One ring to find them.
    One ring to bring them all
    And into Google, bind them.
  • Before commiting to something like this, I'll wait to see if MS takes the shackles off of NFC on WP. It's just not useful enough for me at this point. 
  • It's amazing how Microsoft tends to complicate things with Windows Phone. I can understand the need for confirmations whilst using NFC/Bluetooth/whatever but for XXXX sake WHY aren't they giving us an option to disable the blasted thing? It's NEAR field communication and I'm touching the phone to another device, of course I don't want to confirm my action, why would I, I just love touching my phone to random shite and then cancelling the operation. :D We're lucky it's not requiring a PIN code from us for a simple NFC sharing.
  • :)) +1
  • NFC GO COWBOYS I got the Cowboys beating Broncos this weekend at Arlington ATT stadium 3:25pm ct. on CBS
  • Until you can program NFC to perform macro-like functions in WP, this is virtually useless. Might as well just pin a shortcut on your home screen.
  • I want NFC to be useful. I don't know if it would be useful for it to launch a program when I...ya know, hold my phone.
  • The NFC tags can be very useful, if the ridiculous security measures on WP get an overhaul. But I too struggle to see the usefulness as of now with this ring.
  • It seems like it would be cool to unlock your door with also seems like a bad idea to have a door lock that doesn't use a key...ADT security does the same thing now, and its easily hackable...
  • which windows phones have nfc these days?
  • I still really don't understand what NFC is for or does
  • Did you watch the video?
  • Considering it's a ring with nothing but NFC transmitters, is it water proof? Could one wear it in the pool or ocean? I'm a swimmer, so should I get this, it'd be a real bother to have to constantly remove the ring.
  • I am not an expert on NFC, but I do work in the IT field as a security professional. Best practices for authentication are usually:
    Something you have and something you know - Smart card / PIN
    Something you are and something you know - Fingerprint / PIN
    An NFC ring seems flawed but so isn't Apple's authentication model. The consumer market cares less about security so it continues with bad practices. Won't be long before someone figures out a way to photograph and reuse your fingerprint or steal your NFC ID without stealing your ring.
    Just my two cents on this flawed idea!
  • Sooo... Why not combine the two? NFC ring + PIN to unlock your phone? There's your 2-factor authentication, and unlike a fingerprint on a glass, you'll likely notice if your NFC ring has been stolen (and you can reprogram it with a new code, unlike a fingerprint that's with you for life).
  • So, you're a "security professional" and you just couldn't see the 2 factor authentication this "flawed idea" puts right under your nose?! =))
  • +1
  • It doesn't matter the concept of "security" is flawed and miss leading in itself so who cares. Some models are simply more flawed than others. Some criminals are more determined than others. People don't want security, just the illusion of it. It will be hacked and by passed and everything else you can imagine just like multifactor authentication.
  • My tech geekiness just went giddy! That's cool!!
  • The windows phone app doesn't unlock the ring as I've just had an email through from John McLear who has said it's only Android phones that will unlock the ring.  His comments about Microsoft and getting an unlock app   John McLear (NFC Ring) Jan 08 20:18 We're limited by the Microsoft Apis on this I'm afraid, if they open up / supply the APIs for us we will but right now it's impossible to develop it. Microsoft have kindly filed our requests as "wontfix" so it's unlikely we will see this in the near future.
  • Just got an email saying the NFC Ring is now available for preorder. Shipping in May. Bought one of the Vintage rings. Anyone else???