Gesture control has come a long way in the past few years, but the vast majority of gesture-controlled devices still carry a fundamental flaw: they still rely on cameras. The effectiveness of these systems hinges on extremely sophisticated gesture-recognition algorithms, which often have detection problems at large distances or varying light conditions.
To solve this problem, Ring takes a different approach. This little gizmo fits onto your finger and uses an array of accelerometers to detect movements you make with your hand. Then, after connecting the Ring to another device via Bluetooth, gestures like pointing, swiping, and drawing shapes or letters in the air can be used to perform a variety of different actions.
Taking photos, controlling your phone’s music player, posting a tweet, turning on your TV — it’s all at your fingertips (literally!) with Ring. The device pairs with any device that supports Bluetooth 4.0, and the accompanying smartphone app allows you to create and configure your own custom gestures.
We got a chance to fiddle with Ring for a few minutes at CES 2015, and while we didn’t pair it to our phones directly, the demo we saw made it seem pretty snappy and responsive. Gestures were recognized quickly and accurately, and the corresponding action was executed right away.
The only drawback is that it’s really bulky. In comparison to most other wearables, it’s tiny, but for a ring that’s intended to be worn on your finger, it’s massive — so big that it might be bothersome to wear for extended periods of time.
Still, it definitely beats flailing your arms at a camera, hoping and praying that your gesture will be recognized.