Black ring feedback
Just a bit of feedback
DIFFICULT TO ORIENTATE I have a completely black lacquered ring, so it is completely impossible to know which way round it is or whether either of the tags is lined up with anything. This means the only way to use it is to take it off and look for the slight depression where the tags are let into the ring and hold the ring up to the reading device with my fingers. Even then you don't know which tag you are offering up. OK, yes, I could mark the ring myself with enamel paint. That's going to look good.
SMALL TAG SIZE I couldn't believe that the tags only contain 137 bytes. That's not enough to hold full contact details and, let's face it, it's the long repetitive data that you want to automate. Yes, I know it's on a ring but if you can't miniaturize more than that, you may need to rethink the entire concept. I was expecting the Encylcopaedia Brittanica on my finger. I haven't felt so short of memory since the early 1980s.
NICE APP This is well-designed and easy to use, I like the hotspot map. Other NFC programming apps also work and have more functionality including enable/disable WiFi, mute etc. but these are more suited to fixed NFC tags that might shut your phone down in the evening, for example.
IMPRACTICABLE Forget using the ring from the palm side. The natural curvature of your hand means you will never get the ring close enough to the receiver (unless you are grasping a receiver in a doorknob and even then the ring has to be oriented correctly. The only way it can sometimes work is if you hold your fist out (knuckles first) but if you do that, people are more likely to duck than press their mobile 'phone on your knuckles. And when nothing happens, it's embarrassing. This technology should be called 'Touching Field Communication' because 'near' isn't near enough.
But to finish on a positive note, although I probably won't wear it I don't regret ordering it. It's like WiFi—it should be better but it's not.
You've raised some reasonable concerns that will probably affect other people similarly, I'm looking at a couple of stealth bombers here and they are certainly difficult to pick out the inlays, and difficult to pick which is which but still - my way around that would be to just program both inlays into the door or whatever I was using it on.
As to size, it's a function of the NTAG203 IC, unformatted size is 144 bytes. We are starting to see bigger and better 'standard' NFC ICs though, and there will no doubt be periodic upgrades to the NFC Ring offering. It's a very different proposition to flash memory.
The app is nice, for sure. I've been using it for a while on both my android devices, unlocking with the palm side of my hand - that seems to work fine for me on a number of devices, possibly they're working better with NFC than yours is? Have you tried it on any others? You do need to be reasonably close but I've got a few posts containing videos that show me getting rings to read from a slight distance.
Thanks for the feedback, it all gets noted and listened to by John and the team, as well as the rest of us.