NFC Ring

A few weeks ago we mentioned the NFC Ring project that was looking for funding on Kickstarter. While there are always tons of similar projects out there, this one received quite a bit of attention including some BBC coverage. However, what was more relevant was that the company was willing to make a Windows Phone app if they reached £110,000 in funding.

Today, the company’s Kickstarter has just concluded and they managed to surpass that £110,000 by nailing a whopping £241,947 in funds. And yes, that means a Windows Phone app will be made (and not a Windows Mobile one that some of you were concerned about).

The company went into some detail recently about the Windows Phone app and how it will work with the NFC Ring noting that it will be built with the PhoneGap developer tools and it is currently in review (although that was a few weeks ago). The good news is this isn’t vaporware as the app will be out when the NFC Ring is available to actually purchase. The bad news is PhoneGap is hardly the ideal development solution for Windows Phone (think of Untappd), as it is more of a “one size fits all” answer that doesn’t leverage Windows Phone native design.

The reason why the NFC Ring project went with PhoneGap should be obvious: it allows them to write for Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry all at once and get the app out quickly—like real quickly. Later, the company can focus on making native apps for each platform as they see fit (or demand requires).

The other limitation is the Windows Phone platform: It won’t allow the ring to unlock our devices, at least not yet. Windows Phone users should not be strangers to the limitations of NFC on their devices, including the annoying ‘nag’ confirmation screen, which is reportedly going away in a future update. Still, the NFC Ring should be valuable for information sharing like contact info or launching apps.

Interestingly, the project was looking to make a BlackBerry 10 app but as it turns out, the flagship Z10 phone has a curious limitation of its own. The Z10 (and some Samsung devices) have the NFC antenna below the battery making small inlays as found in the standard sized NFC Ring impossible to read. That means you’ll have to wear an “Alpha” sized ring to get it to work. Luckily, Windows Phone doesn’t have that problem. Finally, due to the iPhone not supporting NFC at all (at least not currently), no support for iOS will be offered.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as the NFC Ring is available and since we helped funded it, we’ll be receiving one to test out. In the meantime, you can watch the above demo video to see the concept in action.

Source: Kickstarter (NFC Ring)

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