Additive Manufacturing Strategies

The 3D Printed Ö Bluetooth Ring is One of the Tiniest Personal Computers You Will Ever See

ST Medical Devices

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ring1We live in an era where wearable technological devices are becoming the norm. Whether it is computerized eye glasses such as Google glass or a watch that can do more than a personal computer could do just a decade ago, wearable technology is definitely here to stay. Apple realizes this with their upcoming release of the Apple Watch, as does Google, Samsung and many other technology firms.

For one company, called Arduboy, and their founder Keven Bates, creating miniature computers is nothing new. Arduboy recently launched on Tindie, a full-featured computer that fits into a wallet. It features a 1.3″ OLED display, 32 KByte Flash Memory, and much more.

Bates, who goes by “Bateske”, has created several unique miniature computers in the past, including the business card sized model, mentioned above. His latest creation though, takes the concept of the smartwatch and embeds it into a ring. That’s right, a ring!

The Ö Bluetooth Ring features a 64×32 monochrome OLED display, as well as a fully functional touch button. Powered by a NRF51822 chip set, the Ö Ring has the ability to receive and reply to notifications sent via bluetooth from a smartphone, as well as display various animations such as scrolling graphics, digital and analog clocks, and more.

The battery life of the Ö Ring is a bit over four hours with the display turned on, and over 24 hours on standby mode. It features an ARM-M0 embedded microprocessor running at 16mhz, with 16k RAM and 256k flash memory.

“The device is programmed using the mbed developer software which is a cloud based development platform for a wide variety of ARM chips,” explained Bates on his website. “Very cool log in from any computer or tablet and drag and drop programming via usb.”

Assembling the ring

Assembling the ring

The body of the ring is completely 3D printed, with a compartment large enough to fit all of the electronics, including the OLED screen which is attached to the processor chip, as well as a 40mah lithium polymer battery.

Bates says that he has sent the final design of this ring to manufacturers and has already received some pricing back in order to mass produce these wearables. It should be interesting to see what the final product looks like, as it almost certainly won’t be created via 3D printing. Perhaps Bates will be able to offer some custom options, allowing users to design and 3D print their own rings, and then fit them with the electronics, provided by Arduboy. Nevertheless, 2015 should certainly be an interesting year for Bates and his company, as well as the entire wearables space.

What do you think? Would you be inclined to wear a “smartring”, or is the display just a bit too small for your liking? Discuss in the 3D printed Ö Bluetooth Ring forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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