Indian start-up's big leap into global innovators' club
A young Indian techie has invented a ring-type device, that can turn your palm into a gesture interface to control multiple devices, including mobile phones, television, music system, gaming console to name a few.
The smart ring called 'Fin' promises to be the next revolution in wearable technology.
'Fin' is the first hardware product developed by Kochi-based robotics start-up, headed by 23-year-old Rohildev.
Rohildev's RHLvision was one of the top 15 companies invited to TechCrunch CES Hardware Battlefield in Las Vegas early January, the only product selected from India.
Wearable devices are the next stage of computing and the thumb ring developed by Rohil and his team is stylish and easy for use. Fin is fitted with a bunch of sensors that can detect finger taps, swipes and identify various parts of the palm by calculating their distance from the thumb. It uses smart Low Energy Technology such as Bluetooth for communication with connected devices.
Fin, according toa report in the Indian Science Journal (ISJ) web site, can transmit these natural gestures as commands to any connected Bluetooth device, such as a smartphone, a music player, a gaming console, a digital interface inside a car, a television set or a home automation device.
For instance, a person driving a car can use Fin as their key, or take phone calls or control the music player without taking their hands off the steering wheel; a smartphone user can rub their index finger against the thumb to zoom their screens in and out and they can assign numbers to different sections of their fingers, turn their hand into a numeric keypad and tap in a phone number without even touching the phone.
Made out of durable, waterproof and dustproof material, a single Fin will be capable of supporting up to three devices at a time. It will come with a custom Lithium ion battery with micro-USB charging dock and last more than one month on full charge.
"One of the most valuable applications of Fin will be as a companion for the physically challenged, provided they have a functional thumb," Rohildev told Indian Science Journal. "The palm can be a touch interface for the visually impaired and Fin can be used to control disability aids with the least amount of physical stress."
The retail cost of the device at almost Rs. 7,500 does not justify its applications. The innovators, however, hope to bring down the price, once it goes to mass production.
RHLvision has raised Rs. 1.23 crores (over USD 2,00,000) through the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, with over 1600 people signing up for the device. While the team plan to ship the developers' version from India, its bulk requirement will be sourced from Taiwan.
The company also plans to explore a variety of applications with the device and will release the software development kit for interested partners, said Rohildev. Their exposure at the Las Vegas Hardware Battlefield has opened up possibilities for international tie-ups, with several developing companies like head-mounted display and smart watch makers seeking partnership.
(Posted on 13-03-2014)