Fujitsu’s smart ring can translate air writing into action

Fujitsu have developed a new smart ring that’s the first wearable to be able to turn in-air ‘handwriting’ into text. The nifty wearable can translate finger-waving into different alphabets, including Chinese characters, and apparently reproduced numbers with 95% accuracy even when people had no instructions on how to use it.

It’ll let users save memos, add notes to photos, and open apps, has a magnetic sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope, so could be used as an activity tracker, and is powered by a tiny battery and low energy Bluetooth.

The company had previously considered a head-mounted device and experimented with a smart glove, but think their ring will be easier and more convenient to use. They seem to be particularly promoting it as an option for people in technical or engineering fields, as its in-built near field communication (NFC) capability means that you can learn about an object, including how to use or fix it, just by tapping it.

But, as with other wearables, it seems likely there’ll be at least some consumer interest, too. After all, it’s not everyone who has an all-powerful ring without having to traipse through Middle Earth to get it.

Although it weighs less than 10 grams, it’s still pretty chunky right now, but the company is working to make it a little more streamlined and plan to bring it to market later this year. Whether it will take off remains to be seen, but if you spot a bunch of people wearing huge rings and ‘writing’ with their fingers, at least you’ll know that they’re not just being weird, they’re getting on with their work. (And maybe being a bit weird.)

Diane Shipley