Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
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The One Ring




Caption: With continuous tracking, AuraRing can pick up handwriting — potentially for short responses to text messages.
Credit: Dennis Wise/University of Washington
Caption: With continuous tracking, AuraRing can pick up handwriting — potentially for short responses to text messages. Credit: Dennis Wise/University of Washington
Dennis Wise/University of Washington

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You too can be LORD of the RINGS!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

This spring’s fashion statement? Wearable tech! Smart watches, clothing, earbuds… now smart RINGS?!

Shwetak Patel’s team at University of Washington developed new technology that would thrill even Gollum! Inspired by smart devices, the researchers created a ring that tracks movement with extreme precision. They call it AuraRing.

What makes THIS ring so PREC-SSS-IOUS?

The team looped a small coil eight-hundred times around a three-D printed ring. Electricity in the coil creates a magnetic field that communicates with a matching wristband. The signal tells the wristband EXACTLY how the wearer’s hand and fingers are positioned.

Patel’s team tested the device on twelve volunteers. As wearers moved their fingers, AuraRing accurately tracked their hands. Researchers hope to connect it to existing smart devices.

They believe AuraRing could be used to text and play games - hands-free! That’s not all! It might also provide stroke rehabilitation feedback. 

Next time you want to send a text -- just put a ring on it!