ring simply does not apear to have an nfc tag in it

  • Recieve my ring, + spare tag ect

    However when trying to set up following your quick guide my phones fails to see either side if my ring at all no matter how long I try.
    However it detected the spare tag sent with the ring immediately.
    Have tried on both the LG g2 and the nexus 5 same story.
    It's an alpha ring so I thought the signal should be good.
    Possible faulty ring? Or does the rings structure reduce the signal that dramatically?
    Any help would be appreciated.

    seen reports of the rings not working with the samsungs top phones.

    I did the obvious stuff like remove the case (although to be fair this is pointless as i could never carry the phone without a case making ring redundant anyway)

    weird thing is phones work great with all normal nfc tags and see them instantly even through there normal cases.

  • Community Helper

    Hi @d4ead, the metal of the ring does change the way it works, you really can't compare them with a 'standard' NFC tag. I've made a lot of posts on here pointing out the reasons why and it basically boils down to construction differences.
    Samsung's "Top Phones" suffer from antenna design overenthusiasm... they had space for a big antenna available, so they used it - it just happens to be that the bigger the antenna the more difficult it is to read small NFC devices.
    This happens in a lot of the older devices, new NFC antenna designs should be better!
    With the ring orientation will affect whether it reads or not, and how well it reads. Try it with the inlay horizontal to the phone, slowly covering the entire back of the phone, with no covers on your device. If you hear the failed read sound, concentrate on that area to try to get a read, remembering that slowly moving the ring through the read area is what works best. Cover the entire back of the phone to make sure you don't miss any spots.
    After that, turn the ring vertical, rinse repeat - even if you found a good read spot while horizontal! It helps to know where and how the ring works with each device, and some sweet spots may be better than others.
    Other things to try are switching off android beam, cleaning contacts (depending on device, if the antenna is in the battery or back cover and those are readily removable).
    Above all, be patient and methodical. It's a new way of doing something, and you do need to get used to it.

    If, after all that, you are still unable to use NFC Ring on your phone then start trying it with everyone you meet who has NFC. It's far more likely that your devices have issues than the ring does, but it's best to be sure eh.

  • hmm 2 top manufacturers devices that have no error reports for nfc functionality are more likely to have issues then a ring whos 90% of customers are unhappy angry or can not get it to work, makes perfect sense. The truth is if it does not work with every nfc enabled phone (thats not broken and can read regular nfc tags) then the item does not work. You can not sell a nfc ring and then say oh it may only work with phones that havnt been invented yet. Unless you say it works on this one device (like the shitty doomed samsung gear)

    so far the ring does not work with the htc one and one m8, samsung s3, s4, s5, note 2, note 3, lg g2, nexus 4, nexus 5

    the fact that its hard to read makes the ring unusable and pointless (it was advertised as being a quick secure locking method)
    if you have to remove a case it makes the ring unusable and pointless (just completely stupid and impraticle)
    the fact it does not work with 90% of the phones on the street and market make it pointless

    in short the item is sold in a 'not fit for purpose' state and as such all backers should be refunded in full and the idea either shelved or actually developed into a working item before shipping.

  • by working item i mean an item that works on ALL nfc enables phones. Instantly and easily. Without the need to remove cases.
    While i accept that some of this may well come down to phone manufactures the fact remains the device is completely useless until that happens.
    please understand in truth im not in the least bit worried i feel that the small amount of money put forward has left me with a reasonable attractive ring. Im just talking from a business perspective.

  • I actually agree with some of what you said @d4ead: pointing finger of blame for poor read-performance at the handset makers rather than accepting that the ring itself has a design problem has never really sat well with me. I understand the arguments given for why the read performance won't be comparable to another other tag, but the fact that every other tag in the world will work with any phone while the ring-tag won't doesn't make me think there is a problem with the phone: it says there is a design problem with the ring.

    If I think that, and I've followed the updates and watched the progress, then what will the mythical man-on-the-street think? The original concept of fist-bumping your contact details to a newly met would-be-contact's phone fell away by the wayside as soon as read-performance couldn't be guaranteed on every handset. Imagine the frustration (and poor PR) if there is a 50:50 chance that the strangers phone can't read your ring? If it worked 100% then that's a new person who'd be impressed and want themselves some of that NFC action. If you find yourself rolling your ring over random parts of their phone, struggling to find a sweet spot AND the correct orientation for your ring (and still not getting a read) then that person is not going to be impressed by your wearable tech and will likely suggest you just NFC Beam the details.

    I don't agree with your argument that a case is an essential part of a phone though. I know some people treat their phone like a certain body-part and freak out if it isn't encased in rubber, and maybe they're such klutzes they need that safety net, but I'd hate to spoil the lines of my Nexus 5 by sticking some ugly silicone around it. My phone lives in a cloth slip-case that goes in my pocket - when I want to use the phone I take it out of my pocket and slip it out of the cloth, naked as nature intended :)
    Cutting out a sweet-spot hole in a case (like exists for the camera, buttons, flash etc) isn't going to turn your phone into an instant damage magnet.

  • Community Helper

    I should probably start by mentioning that neither Lokki nor I are working for McLear Ldt. But I need no correct you on a few points.

    [...] ring whos 90% of customers are unhappy angry or can not get it to work [...]

    That's not true there are only a few people with problems, remember there are about 18'000 rings out there.

    [...] ring whos 90% of customers are unhappy angry or can not get it to work [...]

    no one did. It was quit clear written in the FAQ that there might be problems with some phones and cases

    [...] so far the ring does not work with the htc one and one m8, samsung s3, s4, s5, note 2, note 3, lg g2, nexus 4, nexus 5 [...]

    there are also people reporting very positive things with these phones. Just check the forums "will it work" and "sweet spots".

  • Community Helper

    @d4ead That's a really simplistic reaction to what has happened - when troubleshooting problems it is best to start at the beginning and attempt to work your way through the issue. This is what we were attempting to do, suddenly arguing that 'top phone manufacturers must be correct' is a complete non sequitur and ignores quite a few common sense items.

    1. The ring is a metal item. Metal interferes with RF energy. The interference of the metal with the RF energy has been minimised by Mclear co and has tested good on numerous devices with many many happy users.

    2. NFC as it is is still a relatively new technology. The sheer confusion that seems to come upon people who are very good at working with transceiver hardware when they are presented with NFC is rather mind boggling. NFC antennas are not really antennas, they're induction loops. Induction loops work best when they are closely matched in physical dimensions, it maximises the interaction between the two loop sets. These 'top phone manufacturers' are, I gather, redesigning the way they do this in order to improve functionality in the future.

    3. You're confusing your own experience with universal truth. There are people out there who are patient and have success with the models you're referencing. BUT it is known that it can take time and practice to get used to this as they can be very touchy. Read the relevant forum posts for hints and tips on how best to use the ring with each different device.
      It is also known that each device, even the same model device, is going to be different. They encounter different conditions and uses, have different owners some of whom may be more careful than others, and mileage may vary between different devices.

    @shama and @d4ead - The finger of blame is being pointed at certain devices because they have poorly designed antennas which do not function as well as others do. If Sony can make such an exceptionally good NFC antenna (which IS physically smaller btw) then there is nothing stopping other manufacturers from taking the hint and getting it right. That they haven't yet after so many iterations should be giving you pause.

    To repeat myself once more, I say this a lot and that does not make it less valid, The NFC Ring functions within the specifications laid out for NFC and will work with any device which is compliant to those specifications.

    That last part is the important part. If a manufacturer isn't compliant, then they should be.
    Working with 'generic tag X' means sweet fanny adams if a compliant device cannot also be used.
    You guys need to understand that working with 'generic tag X' is NOT the same as working well or properly.

    So, I was here trying to help @d4ead figure out his ring.
    You want to continue with that or would you like to argue instead, guys?

  • @Lokki I understand what you're saying, and have been here long enough to see you write it a number of times (frustrating I'm sure). And that's kind of the point. You really shouldn't have to go into antenna theory and NFC standards to explain to someone why their ring doesn't work as they expect it to. Even across a single type of handset there is no guarantee it will work.

    People like me saw this great, convenient wearable technology shown on the BBC which made unlocking your phone, or sharing contact details, a breeze! It turns out that that reality is not a universal truth, and while you can point fingers at the phone makers they won't be hurt by this - NFC Ring will be. If it isn't possible to make a ring that works with all NFC phones then people will not flock to this wearable tech in vast numbers: it will remain a niche for people to tinker.

    I hate analogies, because they always break down, but it is like releasing a new car and some people discovering that the bottom scrapes along certain speed-bumps. Some people don't have this problem, because they live in an area where the council is very anal when it comes to the height of a speed bump. Others are a bit more sloppy and don't care about the extra mm or two, because it still works for all other cars. This new car is extremely intolerant though.
    Drivers of this new won't blame the council for those extra mm's, they'll blame the car maker because they have created something to such an extreme intolerance it may be useless in certain areas.

    I am not trying to pick a fight, but hopefully try and provide some perspective from a user or a customer, and pointing out why blaming their phone will stick in their throats when every other NFC tag on the planet will work with their phone just fine.

  • @shama having dealt with some very new technologies before they were standardized, perhaps the issue is that NFC ring is made to the NFC standard...not all phone manufacturers follow said standard. When the ring and the phones (as a matched pair of antennas) are too far out of whack...no joy.

    Marketing is lies....period. Do not under any circumstance believe what marketing tells you.

    I've yet to ever see any other NFC technology actually work...perhaps there are some out there but I have not yet seen them, so I'm not sure saying every other NFC tag on the planet is a reasonable statement.

    I get you may be frustrated...
    (your analogy) when your blaming the designer of the car(Mclear Ltd) for the communities where the speed bumps are scraping your undercarriage, when they didn't actually build said car, realize that it out of their hands..they can only tell you that they created the design.

    FWIW I dont yet have my rings but Ive been alerted they are coming so perhaps Ill jump aboard these issues once I get my rings.

  • @Zackis
    I don't have my rings either, I have every one of my fingers crossed that my particular Nexus 5 will be a joy to use with the multiple rings I have coming my way!

  • Community Helper

    @shama said:

    @Lokki I understand what you're saying, and have been here long enough to see you write it a number of times (frustrating I'm sure). And that's kind of the point. You really shouldn't have to go into antenna theory and NFC standards to explain to someone why their ring doesn't work as they expect it to. Even across a single type of handset there is no guarantee it will work.

    That's the thing, it's up to device manufacturers to comply to a standard as well, and make their devices in such a fashion that they do work with all other compliant devices. It's why we have standards for them to comply to. If one party doesn't play nice it messes things up for everybody else and makes life more difficult. The real trouble here is that we're playing with the best possible technology made in the cheapest possible way (mobile phones and tablets because the consumer wants cheap and the company wants profit) and if the customer feedback to the phone manufacturers is lacking in one way or another then they're not going to correct what they're doing.
    It's also up to us to take that into account and look after these insanely delicate devices which can be thrown off kilter if you look at them with one eye the wrong way. We tend to forget what we've got in our hot little hands and how sensitive electronics can be when they feel like it.
    We also forget that we are learning to do a new thing here. New things can take time to master, no matter how simple they seem. But in todays world not many have the patience to do this, they become frustrated and lose sight of what they're aiming to do, then we get bogged down in these little discussions that may explain but don't actually help a whole lot because after all, how many of you read everything that I write here? I don't expect that it happens a whole lot which is why I'm still reasonably ok with repeating myself for the moment.

    All that said, you've all seen John's post about multiple NFC antenna design in phones and that looks like it'll be the way to go, it'll bring all devices up to a certain standard and they should then all work just as well as each other.

    What @Zackis is saying is basically correct, the samsung door locks are a good case in point. They're all NFC sure, but they're sure not functioning as compliant devices and that's the manufacturers issue that's not going to be corrected until they're put under pressure to fix it. Some of them don't read NTAG203 at all in any form factor.

    To use your analogies against you it's like being back in the 80s when compatibility between computers was all over the place and even Vic20/C64 were incompatible with each other. Same manufacturer, same operating system and yet incompatible on most levels. Sooner or later the ones that don't play nice will fall off the market place and disappear and we'll be left with a better world.

    You're right, it's frustrating. And I do try to keep an even keel - I'm here because I enjoy it so being frustrated isn't exactly what I'm looking for.
    My next suggestion for @d4ead was to be a request for an Alpha if his Classic was not working at all with his device.

  • @Lokki I'm curious about the NFC Standard ... does it state a loop size? Which part of the standard is it that the ring adheres to and the phone makers don't?

  • Community Helper

    It doesn't state a PCD antenna size, only states a minimum coupling zone (assuming a credit card sized PICC) for a PICC which is only a little smaller than the size of an Xperia NFC antenna, interestingly enough. Maximum is assumed to be within the size of that same card for obvious reasons.

    PCD to PICC connection is basically a transformer, it's two inductance loops with an air gap allowing for transmission of power which is then modulated by one side or the other. The reader modulates output, the tag loads the field for modulation, which the reader can then sense. Two well matched loops will provide more efficient energy transfer and with the proliferation of smaller than credit card sized tags it does not make sense from any point of view to continue making the PCD antenna at near to maximum size.

    Where the standard itself becomes relevant is actually in 14443-2/6 which states that the PCD shall produce an energizing RF field which couples to the PICC to transfer power and which shall be modulated for communication.
    Frequency error allowable is 13.56MHz +_7kHz, Hmin at 1.5 A/m (rms), Hmax at 7.5 A/m (rms).
    "A PCD shall generate a field of at least Hmin and not exceeding Hmax"

    So, what happens when your antenna connections get dirty, bent, twisted, impacted and generally fail to make proper contact with your antenna...? Additional resistance will mean that the operating field output is lower than it should be for the power output generated by the PCD. This is because any change in the resistance of the circuit to the antenna not only lowers the current that reaches the antenna but also changes the tuning of the circuit and will result in power going from RF output -> antenna and then partially reflecting back at the output stage due to the mismatch. The device will no longer comply as Hmin should be read after the antenna.

    In my opinion, and it is only an opinion and obviously not a reality, manufacturers of quality equipment should use proper RF connectors and links which ensure that this does not happen. A device which is in proper working order and complies with the standards will read the NFC ring. A device which does not cannot be said to comply - it is no longer functioning correctly. This is less of an issue when the antenna is smaller, more closely matched as the energy transfer is more efficient and the field more dense - though it would be very interesting to take readings from a number of devices and see what they're actually doing in terms of output strength.