So, you want an NFC ring? There’s a Kickstarter for that.

July 23, 2013

Here are the five stories we’ve been reading/watching today:

A screengrab from a video promoting the NFC ring developed by John McLear. The project is currently accepting Kickstarter donations. (Kickstarter)
A screengrab from a video promoting the NFC ring developed by John McLear. The project is currently accepting Kickstarter donations. (Kickstarter)

1) Would you buy a ring with near-field communication (NFC) chips in it? Well, there’s a Kickstarter for that. The NFC Ring — a metal band — comes with two NFC chips built in, one on the inside for personal data, such as the code to unlock your phone or perhaps even your house, and another on the outside for public data. The creator, John McLear, has also designed open-source software that can be used to program the ring. The NFC Ring uses passive NFC, which means no batteries are required.

The invention is currently taking Kickstarter donations. An £8 ($12) donation gets you the NFC inlays for free with the prompt to print your own ring (yes, 3D printing is mainstream now).  If you donate £300 ($461), you get a custom ring, designed to your specifications, with a custom message engraved inside. You also get the accompanying app and the ring delivered in a “silver signature slick Ring Box.” The ring has already passed its £30,000 ($46,059) goal.

Here’s hoping you don’t accidentally flip the ring around, which is, of course, possible. (Also, three points to TechCrunch’s Natasha Lomas for the Lord of the Rings reference).

(Related Reading: The kick crowdfunders don’t deserve)

2) NASA has posted photos taken by the Cassini probe on Friday. The photo, taken from nearly 900 million miles away, shows both Saturn’s rings and, yes, our “pale blue dot.”

(NASA via Capital Weather Gang)

3) In other news, NASA has appointed an investigative board to look into the spacesuit malfunction that occurred during the spacewalk on July 16. Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano’s helmet began to flood with water during his walk, putting the astronaut at risk of drowning.

The board begins work on Aug. 2, per a NASA release, with international space station chief engineer Chris Hansen leading the team. The board includes NASA astronaut Mike Foreman, international space station safety and mission assurance lead Richard Fullerton, Johnson Space Center human factors specialist Sudhakar Rajula and NASA Engineering and Safety Center chief engineer Joe Pellicciotti.

4) Before we get to the last story of the day, here ‘s an “Inception”-like video by Michael Shainblum showing some of the United States’ biggest cities in kaleidoscopic glory. In describing the video, Shainblum writes:

“I have worked on this piece for an extremely long amount of time. I have spent time mirroring images and videos for the past five years, and I have been working on this specific piece for about four months. I felt it was time to combine Timelapse photography and the simplicity of a kaleidoscope, and create Mirror City.”

Mirror City Timelapse from Michael Shainblum on Vimeo via Devour.

5) And, yes, here’s the royal baby making his ever-so-royal debut:

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Emi Kolawole | July 23, 2013