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NFC jewelry unlocks your smartphone with style

NFC jewelry unlocks your smartphone with style

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Just about every major Windows and Android smartphone comes with NFC nowadays, but daily use of the data-transmitting technology has largely been confined to making payments at gas stations. Now a new Kickstarter project is looking to turn that around, making NFC a lot more personal and readily accessible by building it right into a piece of jewelry. The simply named NFC Ring is a wide steel band with two separate kevlar-styled black strips along its top and bottom that contain transmitters. It doesn't need to be charged, and separate bits of information can be stored on either strip.

Transmitting data with a little flair

The ring's most common use should be unlocking a phone. By installing a piece of custom Android software, the device can be unlocked just by tapping the ring against it — effectively building in password protection without the user having to enter anything. The ring's two separate NFC areas are meant to allow both public and private data to be held. Private would be composed of information like your device password, while public could facilitate the sharing of contact information or other details that you might want to hand out. The manufacturer notes that aggressive data thieves may be able to break into the ring since it's being outwardly presented, but the maker says that it's "pretty sure" that the two band design should prevent anyone from peering in.

While the NFC Ring isn't the very first piece of NFC jewelry, the idea has largely been limited to toys so far. And though the ring can't do anything that an NFC-enabled smartphone couldn't do, tapping a ring against a lock or another device promises to be a bit more fluid and natural than using a phone. The ring is expected to sell for about $20 at launch — the Kickstarter has already more than doubled its funding goal, and the manufacturer believes that it will begin shipping them this September.