“Greatly Improved” Ring Zero is Now Available

Logbar (Tokyo, Japan) is now accepting pre-orders for the latest version of its Ring Zero finger-wearable input device.

The use of Ring Zero simply requires that the user put the device on their index finger and keep touching the built-in sensor while drawing a gesture in the air*. The sensor is released when the gesture is finished. The Ring Zero device detects the user’s finger movements and gestures and these can be programmed to initiate specific functions. One possibility is that the device can be used to control a variety of smartphone functions. In the smartphone example, drawing a triangle in the air could play or pause music. Drawing a circle could take a photo. In addition, the device can connect to other home appliances via Wi-Fi using an external router. By these means, the user can, for example, control lights, an air conditioner and so on. A dedicated Ring Zero application allows the user to add additional gesture commands.

It might be mentioned that the Ring Zero has a bit of back history. The company conducted a successful Kickstarter campaign in April, 2014 raising about $900K. The general response to the initial product offering was that the hardware was unattractive and poorly designed, the software unreliable and the price way to high at $269. In response, Logbar CEO Takuro Yoshida now reports that “We’ve reduced weight and greatly improved functionality”. Some features of the latest device are as follows:

  • Price: ~$140
  • The Ring Zero comes in three sizes (inner diameter/weight): Small – 19mm (4.6g), Medium – 20.6mm (5.0g), Large – 22.2mm (5.4g)
  • Colors: shiny white and matte black
  • The battery will operate the device for three to four days with ordinary use.
  • The battery can be fully charged in about two hours.
  • Ring Zero can be used from a distance of about 15 meters.
  • Accessories: battery charger, USB cable, size adjustment tool.

Logbar’s device runs on a system that the company calls Maestro, a proprietary gesture detecting engine. In addition, Ring Zero now supports home-automation platform Smart Things.

In order to operate, Ring Zero needs to be paired with an iOS or Android device. Gesture information is sent from Ring Zero to the device and is then transmitted over the Internet or within a network. Once Ring Zero is paired with the user’s device, it can be used while the app runs in the background.

On the app side, a new gesture game is available that allows users to shoot at enemies by drawing specific patterns in the air. The new game is also intended to be a means to enable new users to practice gesturing. In addition to the game, comprehensive instruction videos will be included in the app.

Currently available for sale on the company’s website, the new Ring Zero is scheduled for delivery to purchasers after April 30. – Arthur Berman

* Logbar said clearly that the sensor has to be touched during the gesture, but the company’s videos on the website show a short touch being used to initiate the gesture, only. That would seem much more intuitive to us. (BR)