Talk to the hand: Vring wants to put Siri on your finger

Voice control apps like Siri and Google Now have not lived up to their promises of convenience. But what if Siri was in your jewelry? Today, Whynot Tech is launching the Kickstarter campaign for Vring, “the first smart ring to focus on voice control.” Keeping with the recent trend of marrying high fashion with high tech innovations, the ring “enables users to search the Internet, find their phone, and remotely control household appliances without having to hold their phone.” Essentially, everything you can tell your phone, you can tell Vring instead, and it’ll transmit your commands via Bluetooth to connected devices. So leave your phone at home — just wear a Vring. That’s the idea, anyway.

In keeping with the irony of many 21st-century technological advances, Vring was developed with the hopes of separating people from their mobile devices … by keeping them more connected with a different device. Wearing a ring may be less taxing than carrying around an iPhone or an Android, but at the end of the day, the level of connectivity remains pretty consistent — at least, when it comes to tasks like taking notes, surfing the Web, playing music, or even finding your lost phone.

“The average person spends 90 minutes on their cell phone every day. We developed Vring to give people more freedom to experience life and spend time with family and friends,” said Canner Tang, founder of Whynot Tech. “Our goal is to make life easier, and homes smarter by using the latest advancements in voice-recognition technology.”

Vring says it uses Google speech recognition to perform searches, and you can follow a verbal search with a word like “apps,” “images,” or “maps” to better specify what you hope to find or do things like dim a smart light after you turn it on. It’s also compatible with Chromecast.

The Vring is a certainly a unique product, both in terms of its form and its function. Available either as a ring or as a wristband, the wearable is lightweight, waterproof, and “instinctively responds to touch and voice.” With an aluminum frame, the accessory is available in three colors — a silver, dark grey, and gold that are reminiscent of Apple’s iPhone color palettes. As part of the Super Early Bird support level on Kickstarter, you can own your very own Vring for $109.

We look forward to learning how Vring connects to your phone and other apps. For now, we still have big questions about how it connects, uses voice, and the kind of battery life it gets, though the site says it could be as much as 2-3 days per charge, or 300 voice commands. It’s also huge, for a ring, though slightly more practical as a wristband.

Vring is another neat Kickstarter idea, but use caution before you back it. There are a lot of neat smart rings vying for your finger, but none have proven their worth yet.

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