Update: Wow, the NFC ring has managed to come in at over eight times its original funding goal, with nearly 250,000 GBP (~$375,000) in pledged support. The NFC Ring met all but its final two stretch goals, which were essentially free merchandise handouts to limited edition supporters. Pretty amazing, now it's time to wait for the NFC Ring to ship!


Little by little, NFC is becoming common in modern smartphones. But there's just never an NFC tag around when you need one... unless it's on your finger all the time. That's the premise of the NFC Ring, a Kickstarter project that hit its £30,000 (about $46,000) funding goal just 3 days into the campaign.

The NFC Ring will be able to activate any NFC reader, but smartphones will be the easiest to implement. There is already an app in Google Play that lets you unlock a device with NFC, and the NFC Ring would make that super-convenient. If you have an NFC lock on your door, the NFC Ring can be used to open it. Much less common than a phone with NFC, but still neat. The NFC tag is only on one side, so you won't have to worry about it triggering a reader unless you hold your hand in a certain way.


If you're interested in the NFC Ring, you can pay £8 to get just the NFC insert and have the ring portion 3D printed on your own. For £22 you get the ring with NFC and a compatible app. A larger size ring can be had for £25, and it goes up from there if you want more goodies. You've still got 26 days to decide.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Dheeraj

    Are you kidding me? I feel like some of these Kickstarter campaigns are so trivial. Does this need to be a product? Dayum. To each his own, I guess.

    • Samvith V Rao

      Me too...I never understand how people simply seem to throw their money at anything these days.

  • Matt

    Damn cool idea!
    I can't wait to see what future applications can be conceived for this latest piece of wearable tech.
    Also, couldn't resist backing it...

  • bazker

    First usful nfc thing

  • Christopher Lee

    So, that's how this thing worked. NFC.

  • Zach Erwin Ruedy

    The only benefit I see to this is your phone would be unlocked as you pull it out of your pocket. That's the main use it would get, as far as unlocking your door, why not just use your NFC enabled phone?

    • atlouiedog

      Not everyone has an NFC enabled phone. If you setup an NFC lock on your door, but your roommate or SO uses an iPhone or older Android device this would be fairly inexpensive way to get in on the convenience.

    • andy_o

      Unless you have a custom ROM that allows it, NFC is disabled when the screen is locked, for security reasons. You can't even do it with CM, you have to use something like AOKP.

  • http://tamcore.eu/ Philipp B.

    Anyone knows a working NFC Plugin for Tasker? I've already tried 'Locale NFC Plugin' but it's crap.

    • Justin

      Tagstand's NFC Task launcher can trigger tasker tasks directly if you program it to do so.

      • http://tamcore.eu/ Philipp B.

        Already using it. But I would prefer a working solution with Tasker.

        • CoreRooted

          NFC Task Launcher has a Tasker plugin already in it. I've been using it for awhile now.

  • David Margolin

    I really like that video...

  • Ray Sunghwa Woo

    I'm not sure how this works...

    So this will work as a relay station from your phone to the NFC enabled object? Without needing a battery? How does the phone recognize the ring first to set up since the ring won't omit any signal without a battery, maybe it can? I don't know.

    • ScottColbert

      Try watching the video.

    • Justin

      It's basically a NFC tag you wear, completely passive, it's powered by the phone which spits out a bit of data that the phone reads.

  • atlouiedog

    How small and low power can an NFC reader be? This makes me think they should put them in the bands or faces of the smart watches that are becoming popular. Maybe someone has?

    Put an NFC tag on a door frame at about the height where your wrist falls and give it a bump to tell your wifi enabled lights to turn on as you enter a room. Put a tag on the arm of your couch to tell your logitech smart control to turn on the TV.

    • solbin

      I would much rather have a NFC enabled watch rather than a ring. Good suggestion.

    • Colin Kealty

      if you watch the video in the kickstarter page they talk about their process of finding a proper NFC reader and go through a lot of the details of each one they considered, check it out for more info :)

      • atlouiedog

        This just has a tag in it, right? I'm talking about the reader, the part that's in a door lock or a phone. Instead of using your phone to read a tag, your watch would do it. You wouldn't need to get out your phone, you'd just put your wrist over the tag.

    • Tor Berglund

      I think that is what most of us would consider an overkill (regarding the lights and so on). Why not just use a motion detector? You don't need to connect your lights to your wifi...

      Edit: And if you are willing to give the tag a "bump", why not use a regular switch? lol

      • mjku

        "And if you are willing to give the tag a "bump", why not use a regular switch? lol"

        LOL, because it's not as high tech?

  • Colin Kealty

    Oh, hey, apparently I invested in this... I should really remember what I spend money on.. Though this way it's like sending gifts to future me from the past! Wonder what else I've invested in on kickstarter that got funded..

    • Iulian Arcus

      Got my Leap yesterday, so that was a nice surprise. I might get this as well.

    • charlesnye325

      like Raymond said
      I am inspired that anybody able to get paid $4278 in 1 month on the internet.
      did you look at this website

  • PhineasJW

    Only slightly off-topic: that woman should be announcing everything. :)

    • atlouiedog

      Like the impending self-destruction of a spaceship?

      • PhineasJW


        And turn-by-turn directions on Google Maps.

        The nightly news.

        The weather forecast on Mars.

    • flosserelli

      To me, British women always sound haughty & condescending.

      • http://visionaforethought.wordpress.com/ Oflife

        As a Brit, who then lived in the USA, and then returned to the UK, most Brits are that way, no matter their gender. "It's will never fly." is the attitude here. In the US, "How may I help you get this off the ground?"

    • iamnotfan

      I think, your still single .

    • http://www.dustingooding.com Dustin Gooding

      Pretty sure that's soufflé girl...

  • Juan De La Rosa

    I drooled for 1 minute and 49 seconds

  • Ben Enos

    I plan on backing it,

  • Ben Enos

    I plan on backing it. Probably will order two so I have one to use to unlock my phone and store contact info and another one to play around with. They're very reasonable with their pricing especially if you just order the tag and plan on 3d printing your own ring.

  • Elias

    I bought a few NFC tags but only later I realized I have to unlock the screen to make NFC work. Anyone aware of a way to have nfc working when screen is on but not unlocked? And a way to unlock the screen using NFC instead of pin or a pattern?

    • Joseph Cascio

      I believe the app that comes with the ring is a custom lockscreen. Basically your phone is unlocked in the system settings but the app sets a lockscreen. This way NFC can be used anytime the screen is on. But this is just my educated guess.

      • Elias

        On to custom ROMs, then.
        Btw, I'm guessing it's impossible to disable screen lock. Tried with the llama app and a few others which worked on gingerbread, but none of them work anymore. Developers said it only works up to gingerbread. Guess Google "fixed" something after ICS, wish they would break it again.

        • Christopher Lee

          NFC requires screen on and unlocked by default, but certain ROMs or runtime frameworks (I believe there's an Xposed module for it) allow you to keep NFC active with the screen off. If you're not into that though, I'm afraid you're out of luck.

  • Joseph Cascio

    This is really neat, but my question is, can it unlock my phone if I pickup my phone in the normal unlocking position? Basically, will I have to use two hands to unlock my phone each time like the video showed?

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      Pretty sure that depends entirely on the layout of your phone.

    • kpjimmy

      And also you'll need your phone to be awake.

      • mjku

        How is that any different than a pin, pattern, passcode, or a face?

    • Alex Fry

      Depends how your phone is setup. my phone (and i think most phones) have the NFC reader on the back, meaning if I put this ring on my right hand and hold my phone as i normally would. I would use my thumb to wake it up - activating the NFC reader which will detect my ring (since im holding the phone with my right hand its already against he back of my phone) and unlock it. think of just picking up your phone, hitting the power button, pausing for a second and your in.

  • Jake

    I'm getting ten-- one for each finger. I'll be like the Mandarin.

    • cy_n_ic

      Watch this guy...

  • Mat

    So all someone needs to get in your phone and your house is your ring ... sounds like a security nightmare to me... I would although like it for the purpose of fast access to certain apps maybe or something like that.

    • Brad

      You mean like all someone needs to get into your house now is your key... What a nightmare.

      • Franky

        My key can't be hacked and simulated with open-source tools.

        • Christopher Lee

          Your key also can't unlock a lock that doesn't exist. This is only a problem if you choose to use it for unlocking purposes.

        • LazarusDark

          Maybe not, but your lock can be picked by a five year old with the right tool. Locks aren't meant to keep out determined persons, they are just a deterrent to casual random walkins.

        • master94

          Actually keys are a lot less secure when you think about it. All you need is a locksmith key and your good to go. (Around $30). To open a NFC door. You need months if not years of program training.Depending on where you are and what university you go to that training can cost up to as much as $45k a year.

        • qu4ttro

          No, it can be stolen and copied (the same as "hacked and simulated" btw) with much simpler items. I can do it right now with just the crap I have at my desk. Or I can just pick you lock which takes even less time.

    • Keg Man

      1 backwards donkey kick will get you into a deadbolted door

  • Sukh

    One ring to control them all...

    • adrian

      One Ring to Rule all > Lord of the Ring

      • PamelaLibrarian

        Good. I wasn't the only one who thought of The Lord of the Rings when I saw this ring.

  • http://www.AppsFALYF.com/ Apps FALYF, LLC

    Excellent for sharing PCBA!

  • Barrie McNaught

    My first Kickstarter backing, I think I'll back many more in time to come. These is a great idea for wearable tech.

    • mjku

      Caution: Kickstarter is like crack. You'll need an intervention to stop using.

  • Sokudoningyou

    It looks interesting, but apparently they don't think anyone with smaller hands would want to back it; I don't know about anyone else, but I wear a size 5. The smallest they're sizing is 7.

    • kpjimmy

      Actually in one of the updates (backers only update), they went down to 6. The limitation was with what the machines can machine with the Ti rod they are using to make the rings.

      • OSagnostic

        Also an EU 7 is a US 5.

  • WHO?

    I think the key to products seeing success like this one, is small time frame and low price. 1-2 months product in hand and less then $20 you really cant lose. Well i guess if your sales pitch just absolutely sucked!

  • Dave

    Can you fist bump with your "bros" to share contact deets?