Open source is part of some totally cool ideas. The NFC ring by Jon MecLear, funded by crowdsourcing, is one example of how technology migrates into every area of our lives. NFC stands for Near Field Communication. This ring looks like a wedding band. But think about how easy it would be to wear a ring that could replace the fob to unlock your car, automatically unlock your smart phone or tablet when you pick it up, and unlock your front door. Samsung’s Note and S3 already support the NFC ring. NFC technology works like a toll tag. But what’s really interesting is that it’s one more example of “wearables,” and qualifies as an item on the mysterious list of “Internet of Things.” I would promote it to the Internet of Useful Things. The inlay on this titanium ring is an NFC tag that contains just 144 bytes of data. Apparently only NFC-enabled Android phones are available to work with this. Sorry, iPhone users. I consider this to be another benefit of open source. Android is so much easier on which to get an app published, and thus much easier to quickly integrate into a solution. I predict that Android will be the first mobile platform that most future inventions like this will begin with. Kudos to the NFC Ring developers for providing 3D printing files online so others can 3D print their own ring. To anyone who is rolling their eyes and thinks I must live in a cave (the youtube on 3D printing your own NFC Ring was published July 2013), please post a comment to tell me what else I am missing. And if you know what the title means, then you likely are as decrepit as I am. But I won’t tell.
Lynnette Reese holds a B.S.E.E from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Lynnette has worked at Mouser Electronics, Texas Instruments, Freescale (now NXP), and Cypress Semiconductor. Lynnette has three kids and occasionally runs benign experiments on them. She is currently saving for the kids’ college and eventual therapy once they find out that cauliflower isn’t a rare albino broccoli (and other white lies.)
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