Review: Galaring G1 NFC Ring

closeThis article could be out of date, as it was published 8 months 8 days ago.

In 2013, a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first NFC ring was started by John McLear, a British inventor / entrepreneur. It was massively oversubscribed, with funding reaching 8X the amount asked for.

The first rings are shipping out to the original backers and I’ve got mine on back order (order yours here), but in my travels across t’internet I found this ring which claimed to offer the same capabilities and it could be in my hands within a week. So down went the digits and soon after the ring arrived.

It’s a steel band that has two NFC chips which are advertised as allowing you to unlock applications and pass vCards or details across to other people with their NFC equipped phones.

I had more geeky intentions, utilising one chip as a trigger for Tasker (an Android application) and the other to store my public Bitcoin key (if you haven’t got on the Bitcoin bandwagon yet, why not!?). It is stylish with two black ‘calf’ leather sections, each embossed with a symbol to tell the two areas apart. All good I thought..

Nope, this thing, to put it bluntly, is a piece of crap. I tried it with both an LG G2 and an Asus Nexus 7, I could read and write (barely) with the Nexus 7 to one chip but it was frustration trying to get it to be read and after a while I just gave up.

Having read the chip, the manufacturers had put a very cheap NFC chip in which has known issues with being able to be read. So yet again, someone has rushed a POS product to market that is as much use as tits on a bull.

But that’s our job here, tell you the real word on products, so you don’t end up making those mistakes and wasting your money. Wearable technology is where it’s heading, and at an amazing speed, but there will be snake oil salesman out there, frantically attempting to polish turds.

I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of the real NFC ring from John’s company, he’s always been clear that his product will not be compromised by inferior components and I actually used their app to check this product rather than the company’s own application.

The possibilities of an NFC ring are amazing, from door access, paying for goods, unlocking your phone, triggering actions in  applications, the opportunities just go on and on, but the public (i.e. you!) will not get on the train, unless the products are there to support the capabilities.

Pros:

  • If I need a spacer it might just do

Cons:

  • Everything

Summary

Don’t even Google and look for this thing, it’s that bad. Click straight on to NFCring.com and then see what you can do with a real engineered piece of technology and design.

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