Home > Android, Hardware > GalaGreat GalaRing NFC Smart Ring Unlocks Doors, Smartphones, and Exchanges Data

GalaGreat GalaRing NFC Smart Ring Unlocks Doors, Smartphones, and Exchanges Data

November 25th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Once upon a time, last August more exactly :), the NFC Ring launched on Kickstarter, and funding was an amazing success. Thanks to NFC technology, the ring is battery-less, and communicates with other NFC enabled devices so that you can unlock your door, unlock your smartphone, share information such as contact details, website links, pictures, etc… The rings will most probably be shipped to Kickstarter wizards backers next month or in January. However, a very similar product called GalaGreat GalaRing G1 has appeared on websites such as GeekBuying and Expansys for about $30. [Update: It’s now available on DealExtreme for $28.47]

GalaGreat_GalaRing_NFC_Ring

There are 2 NFC chips from NXP in the ring which is also said to be water- and dust-proof (IP68). The ring is available in small (Ø 17mm), medium (Ø 20), and large (Ø 22mm) sizes. As mentioned above the device is battery-less, so you won’t have to worry about battery life, or replacing the battery. This won’t work with any phone, as you’ll need an phone supporting NFC. The company lists support for:

  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus / S3 / S3 Mini / S4 / Note2, Google Nexus S
  • Motorola Moto X, Droid Maxx, Droid Razr M / HD
  • HTC One, First, One X
  • LG Nexus 4, Optimus 4X HD / L5 / L7
  • Sony Xperia Z / T / P / S
  • Xiaomi Mi-2A / Mi3, OPPO Find5, GEAK Eye, etc..

As long as you device supports NFC it should work. You’ll also need to install Galaring App on your Android device either via Google Play or the apk.

The current version of the app (R1.0) is said to support “personal card” and “program lock” features. The first feature allows you to write your contact details to the ring, and the other lets you link the ring to your phone so that you can automatically unlock your phone, and/or programs when you hold it your hand. Next versions will add further security and privacy features, make the ring connect to the cloud, and even let you play games. It’s also possible NFC Ring app by McLear works with Galaring G1 since the devices look so similar.

Even though it’s “cool”, I’m not completely convinced of the usefulness of NFC Rings at this stage. Further information is available on GalaGreat website.

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  1. onebir
    November 25th, 2013 at 21:08 | #1

    Haha – I was just going to send you an email about this ;)

  2. November 25th, 2013 at 21:42 | #2

    I’m the inventor of the NFC Ring and I can’t believe how impressive it is they have copied the NFC ring product already.. Obviously they have had to make compromises and this could still be vaporware, I will contact them directly to see what I can sort out.

    * The app doesn’t work with NXP tags so probably doesn’t work with ANY NFC devices.
    * They claim it’s titanium when it isn’t, it’s steel ergo can’t be completely Nickel (allergy) free..
    * There is no clear specs online about what chip/tag
    * They haven’t published any specs about the ring shape/sizes
    * There are no details about how they intend to fulfill

    But at a price point of US $30, it’s really cheep, there is no way I can compete with that.

  3. Sander
    November 26th, 2013 at 03:14 | #3

    I’ve done something else: I’ve put my company’s RFID tag in the cover of my smartphone. I now use my phone (Galaxy S2) to open doors. :-)

    I find the ring too visible. I would prefer a RFID tag in my watch wrist band. Or in my watch, like the Swatch with ski tag 30 years ago (and now the Swatch Snowpass)

  4. November 26th, 2013 at 08:01 | #4

    Sander: You find the ring too visible yet your phone isn’t? I feel like logic might have had some sort of break down here… :P

  5. Sergiu
    December 3rd, 2013 at 01:47 | #5

    Mr Mclear

    How much will cost your ring?And what is the difference between this ring and yours?
    And…Can you send a prototype for a review that will be published on the Romanian market?

  6. December 5th, 2013 at 10:41 | #6

    @John McLear
    John I went to your website and wanted to purchase your ring but you all are not shipping any at this time. When do you think your ring would be available and what is the price for the ring.

  7. Thierry A
    December 6th, 2013 at 16:09 | #7

    @John McLear:

    “I’m the inventor of the NFC Ring”…
    What don’t we get to hear now…
    You are merely the guy who made public an idea to put two pre existing things together.
    Note that I don’t want to put you low with that: this is a great idea, really. So great in fact that it is bound to be copied, regardless of the fact you were, or not, the first to have it.
    In fact I’m very doubtful that an idea should be copyrightable, or even owned.

    About the clones, don’t fight it: it’s useless. Asian businesses are like that…
    What you can do is keep yours better and more open.

    And I’m afraid that you are not going down that path: I wanted to try your app with a NFC tag I have. I could not. You locked you app to anything but your ring ? As far as I’m concerned: YOUR app doesn’t work. At least not with the tags I have…
    This is why I’m not going to buy from you until that changes.

    And as you said: 30$ is really cheap, so I might even be tempted to try theirs.
    And it is available NOW too…

    Best regards

  8. December 11th, 2013 at 10:14 | #8

    Here’s another smart ring – http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/smarty-ring
    This time no NFC, but Bluetooth and a small display to get notifications from your phone.

  9. December 18th, 2013 at 05:48 | #9
  10. LoganFive
    February 16th, 2014 at 14:31 | #11

    @Thierry A
    The NFC Ring app by John McLear is locked right now except to backers and developers involved with the Kickstarter. App does work though. As inventor, I believe it is more than just the “idea: to give John credit for. It is exhaustive materials testing to allow best efficiency for the tag and signal. I’m not on the team, but notes and updates speak a lot to the tolerances and quality of materials needed for optimum efficiency of the ring. The galaring uses leather and I’m not sure how that material works with being conducive to signal strength and the ring metals. Amazon also has this ring for several prices. Just doesn’t seem a lot of info with this ring. It either has one size, or 3 sizes. Small-medium-large. The only 2 reviews I have read so far from people who have bought and used that ring are not very happy.

  11. LoganFive
    February 16th, 2014 at 14:42 | #12

    @Sander
    I would also believe that visibility of your phone is greater than a ring. taking your phone out to hold it against a door to unlock it seems more annoying than touching your hand to the door. Doesn’t seem that much difference between an RFID in your watch band or a ring. Except that an RFID in a band can be read from greater distances than the 1mm that the ring allows. And if someone with a scanner strong enough to pass by your hand would still not get your infor because of the close proximity of both tags interference.

  12. May 8th, 2014 at 10:27 | #13

    There’s even a cheaper model now for just above $20… http://www.dx.com/p/smart-nfc-ring-for-smart-phone-unlock-door-rose-gold-silver-circumference-57-1mm-314383?Utm_rid=93072394&Utm_source=affiliate

    If I had a smartphone with NFC I might even have given it a try…

  13. onebir
    May 8th, 2014 at 11:50 | #14

    Does anyone actually use one of these? & find it useful?

  1. February 14th, 2014 at 11:45 | #1