For Phillipe Starck, the frontier of design is a minimalist landscape free from clutter and excess. “The elegance of human evolution must follow the scenario of dematerialization, we need less material, less products and more intelligence, more power,” said the man with a name almost too on the nose when it comes to clean aesthetic. In a market landscape awash with useful gadgets and smart devices often designed with excessive amounts of features, Starck cuts across the grain with the intention of simplification and elegance in the form of the Aeklys smart ring.
The Aeklys ring by Starck sits in bold contrast with the smart devices in circulation at the moment. Instead of a networked device that can turn on your dishwasher while simultaneously paying for your pedicure, this band stores and manages your finances and identity, and nothing more. Even if you are able to simplify this crucial part of your life, should you? The shocking thing is that you may already be doing this and not know it.
Near Field Communication
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a growing segment of the data transmission market. If you’ve ever waved your phone over a pad that took a payment from you, you’ve utilized NFC technology. In the age of Covid and digital currencies, this no-touch payment strategy is really taking off. Brands from Apple to Google and many other companies looking to stay ahead of the technology curve are hunting for more ways to integrate this into your everyday life.
The Aeklys smart ring utilizes an NFC transmission process, with a reading distance of 0 to 4 centimeters (about an inch). So, whether you are purchasing a train ticket or revealing your identity to an official, you simply hover the ring over the reader, and the information you’ve stored inside is transmitted wirelessly.
Of the handful of current applications for the Aeklys registered on their website, three of the five are identification-related. Registering your business card on the device would allow you to wirelessly transmit it to a new contact, allowing you to avoid the waste of printing cards. Additionally, for modern computers with NFC enabled, this ring could allow you to boot up your machine without keying in the password. The Aeklys smart ring identifies that you are who you say you are.
Looking to the future, Starck and ICARE Technologies (manufacturer) are hoping that you’ll use the device for several other identification opportunities. Soon your shopping loyalty cards and parking badges could be loaded up on your ring and left behind for convenience. Building entry badges could be a thing of the past as your Aeklys smart ring already has your info onboard and can wirelessly transmit it to checkpoints. There’s no limit to what the band can do once the world of wireless information transfer becomes the norm.
Apple and Android Payments are already starting to catch hold in supermarkets and shopping centers. This form of money transfer will be the norm in the not-so-distant future, so Starck was well to consider including it in the Aeklys smart ring.
The payment system details on their site aren’t very telling, but what they do indicate is a need to establish an Aeklys bank account and then “pour money into it,” which feels a bit ominous. Given the translation from French to this author’s native tongue of English, it’s likely that you simply register your cards on their device but don’t have to move your actual money into their accounts. They aren’t a bank, after all.
Gadgets and smart devices are often designed with excessive amounts of features. But not Aeklys. This smart ring by Starck is simple, elegant, and life-changing.
Price and Availability
Currently, the Aeklys by Starck is only available in France, but the world-renowned designer has grand plans to roll the ring out around the world. When they do, you’re looking at a $290 MSRP (as of the time of writing this article), which seems a premium price for a rubber ring, but consider the convenience of never having to carry your wallet again.