Ring by Logbar is quite terrible

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A colleague of mine (Pete Williams) recently received his Logbar Ring. He'd backed the original Kickstarter Ring: Shortcut Everything. He let me borrow it for a few days; here are some notes I jotted down...

  • Poor execution. Build quality is shoddy, UX leaves much to be desired, software is unreliable at best.
  • Interesting idea for a wearable, but I’m struggling to see the value. I think it’s silly to "control your phone with a wearable", but even when I consider broader applications, I still feel the LeapMotion would be more effective at picking up finger gestures. That being said, a quick search shows that the Ring already has some competition: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fin-wearable-ring-make-your-palm-as-numeric-keypad-and-gesture-interface - there has to be a value proposition that I'm just missing.
  • I think the ring is a perfect example of Wearables moving into the Trough of Dissolution (http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2819918). We will start to see more wearables bomb, before they get better.
  • This thing was so bad, I didn't even bother to check out their developer portal... but, they do have one: http://logbar.jp/ring/en/developer/

  • The build quality is quite poor. It’s metallic but feels cheap. It's as if they tried to go for “light" but instead of choosing a better alloy, they just used less material.
  • The industrial design isn’t great. It’s difficult to line up the pins perfectly to get the ring to charge. Also, the slanted mount means the thing is always falling over. It also ships with one of those super-cheap micro USB cables.
  • It just doesn't fit! I’m guessing Pete ordered this to fit his finger - it’s way too big for mine. Incorrect sizing meant that every time I tried to gesture, the thing went flying off. If Logbar intend to get perfect fits for everyone, it'll be really hard to share the technology with others.

UX (Android + iOS):
  • They’ve got instructions for first-time setup, except they’re not using native UX patterns, so it felt really strange to go through. Also, you cannot fast forward or skip, so I had to sit through every step, multiple times. If setup doesn't work (and it never did on Android), you have to go through the instructions every time you fire up the app – it becomes tedious.
  • I got it working on iOS, but really struggled to produce the correct gestures. It’s actually quite hard to wave your finger around in exactly the right way.
  • The button on the side doesn't depress when you press it (it's capacitive). This makes it really hard to tell if the button-press registered or not. You have to keep looking out for the LED blink, and by the time that happens, your window to produce the gesture has passed!
  • Android: I absolutely could not get past the instructions on the Android App, so I wasn’t able to get the device working at all. I tried on three separate occasions.

I'm not alone in my views: