Input Wearables

Nod controls devices without lifting a finger — well, maybe one

The Premise. Sure, the idea of being able to control all the devices in a home with a tablet or phone is appealing. What If all that could be done without a mobile device, however? What all that could be done with a sleek, wearable interface?

The Product. The Nod is the next entry in the field of smart rings designed to keep users able to interface with all kinds of connected electronics without having to pick up any kind of keyboard or phone. This stylish stainless steel ring combines motion-detection with buttons and a touch interface to allow users to control Android or iOS apps, Bluetooth or wi-fi enabled devices, smart lightbulbs, thermometers, and more.

The Pitch. In a simple, one-minute introduction video, the Nod is shown primarily as a tool for slackers to control things by waving their hands around. From Netflix to Halo, the couch-bound hero is intent on accomplishing everything with the ring on his finger. Nevermind the nightmare of trying to play a game with that many buttons using a ring, the Nod is then shown at a business presentation, as a wild, complicated  gesticulation becomes a search for a six-letter word. This video does a good job of showing off what Nod can do, but a better job of showing how ridiculous it looks to use. Nod is available for pre-order now.

The Perks. If buyers like it and they want to put a Nod on it, they can get one in fall 2014 for $149.

The Potential.  The smart ring is being brought up as a small, powerful interface tool for users to interact with all connected objects. Nod lacks the subtlety of competitor Fin, but appears to offer a wider range of compatibility, albeit trading in subtle thumb slides for wild Wii-like finger swipes. Nod offers a similar sense of style as the previously-covered Smart Ring as well, but Nod’s intent is to be an interface for all appliances, not just a handy way to keep track of phone applications. The idea is appealing, and the execution seems to be there as well, but the freedom from traditional input that a Nod provides seems to come with a sacrifice of simplicity of use. Anyone with a decent typing speed on desktop or mobile might lack the patience for Nod.

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