How do you imagine the technology of the future?
A few years back, I watched the movie Her which is, for the unfamiliar, the story of how a man (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with an operating system. The story ended (of course) with the protagonist heartbroken over the failed relationship with artificial intelligence. In the alternative world where this was all set, technology had advanced to the point where it was so well embedded in everyday life that the machined-induced connections seemed natural.
One step towards that high-tech world would be interesting new gadgets like this innocent-looking thing I stumbled upon at Computex.
This is the ORii.
ORii is the very-first voice assistant ring. This small thing connects to your phone through Bluetooth and works via gesture and voice commands; it works perfectly with Siri or Google Now. But, the best part? You can make and receive calls with just the ring on and your finger.
The ring uses bone conductor actuator technology which means that the ring sends vibrations to your ear through your finger. Yes, girls and boys, you basically hear the sound through your finger! A built-in microphone takes in your audio and voila, you can make and receive calls.
When all this was explained to me, I honestly didn’t believe it would work. (I mean would you have believed it if someone said you could call someone with your finger?) But, as technology has done time and time again, I was left amazed, surprised, and convinced.
ORii’s simple demo was connecting a smartphone to the ring and playing Spotify. A ring and a finger to my ear later, I was hearing my playlist.
What amazes me here is not that it’s wearable fashion, it’s that it enables users to utilize tech with what we already have naturally, in this case, your finger. (Though that usually gets me and it’s a plus that there are actual plans of producing it in many different colors with LED alert lighting.) This is not another tech addition like an earphone, nor are these Bluetooth headsets — this was my finger to my ear and it worked.
I guess in a way, my amazement comes with the realization that although we’re still pretty far from developing feelings for El Capitan or Windows OS, we’re not far off from technology that seems too awesome to be real. This year’s Computex has taught me as much.
This may still not mean a happy love story ending, but it involves a great piece of tech and in the wise words of Beyonce: “If you like it then you better put a ring on it.”