Aeklys by Starck Payment Ring is a touchless payment alternative
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Wearables are one of the more interesting segments of the consumer technology market to emerge over the past several years. We’ve entered an era where headphones can be used to access digital assistants (adding a layer of augmented reality to our everyday experiences), VR headsets are becoming increasingly popular, and smartwatches are now mainstream. Apple is even tipped to bring AR-based smart glasses to the market in the near future.
Now French company ICARE Technologies has partnered with famed designer Phillipe Starck to bring to market its Aeklys by Starck Payment Ring. Although not the first smart ring we’ve seen, this device looks like it may have got it right -- and having Phillipe Starck’s name attached to the product certainly doesn’t hurt. One key area that the Aeklys by Starck ring hits the mark is that it doesn’t require charging as it works just like a credit card. This is one potential usability hurdle out of the way right up front.
The ring is made from an attractive combination of ABS and TPU plastics to help maintain maximum connectivity. It uses AES 256-bit encryption and an NFC chip for communication to a reader -- transmission reading distance is between 0 to 4 cm. It requires a smartphone and companion app to set up and works with iPhone 6 and later iPhones as well as Android smartphones. Once payment methods, transport passes and even digital business cards are set up, wearers just press down on the ring to activate it and pass it in front of a reader.
The Aeklys by Starck Payment Ring is currently only available in France and is retailing for the equivalent of US$290. No word yet on when it might be available in other markets.