Ringbow: Put a Ring on It and Enhance Your Touchscreen Control
May 8th, 2011
While I understand that the flat touchscreens may make some people may want an external pointing device for their tablets, it seems to me that ancillary controllers defeat the purpose of actually having a tablet. Sure, typing is a pain, but from my experience, pointing and clicking isn’t. It seems that this concept called the Ringbow would add extra functionality to the touch-screen experience.
The Ringbow is a ring-mounted wireless pointer. It’s got a 5-way D-pad (four directions and a button push), and you wear the whole device on your finger and use your thumb to operate it. The D-pad can be programmed with various functions. You can use it as a modifier for your touches by clicking it with your thumb. For instance, touching the screen with your fingertip would be a left-click, but then clicking the Ringbow would turn it into a right-click. In this example video, we see a prototype of the Ringbow being used to adjust brushstroke size without need to touch an additional on-screen menu:
One flaw with the Ringbow is that app producers would have to code special Ringbow shortcuts so that the device would be compatible with it. I doubt that this will ever take off, but it’s an interesting idea.