No physical keyboard or lack of mouse is perhaps still a disadvantage of the newest gadgets especially when it comes to gaming. Ringbow however, opens a whole bunch of new interactions with touchscreens. At least in theory.
Ringbow is quite pioneering peripheral device made for the use exclusively with touchscreens, hand-gestures recognition devices and augmented reality. It’s simply a ring, by assumptions put on your index finger, equipped with a 5-way directional button, and fully operated by a thumb.
Although, Multi-touch can be a very powerful technology, Ringbow seems to allow for much more. For example, rotating the ring might be used for changing options within a menu, tapping the screen with the ring button pressed could be an equivalent of a right click or pressing the ring twice might mean a remote double click (without tapping at all). Therefore, the user is no longer bound to touching the screen, the Ringbow gives new opportunities limited only by imagination of designers.
The Ringbow designers from Israel aim at the gaming industry at most, presenting some possibilities for in-game use of the ring. It’s even good for multiplayer games on touchscreen, because the technology allows to use two different rings with a single touchscreen, being identified as separate. The Ringbow’s website says the company launched a “gaming project” which is a “call to all gaming developers”. Sadly, they do not point any details as of how are they going to support developers. Anyway, it proves that Ringbow is no longer a concept only, thus the ring is said to be in prototype phase now having the API available too.
In theory it looks like a really cool idea. However, it’s hard to believe users will easily accept the message that they need yet another gadget to operate better the already possessed piles of electronics. The cheap plastic ring doesn’t look anywhere near fashionable and I can’t see people wearing it every day and that actually crosses out smartphones. Although, not long ago some said the touchscreen itself is also not anywhere near convenient and yet we got used to it (at least to some level). Who knows then?