Back at CES in January, TechCrunch met Fin, the Bluetooth ring that went on to become one of our Hardware Battlefield finalists. Fin, which turns your hand into a wireless controller for smartphones, TVs, and other connected devices, just reached its $100,000 Indiegogo goal. Now Fin is aiming for its stretch goal of $150,000, which will make the ring available for a discounted price to visually impaired people.
Fin is worn on your thumb and has a tiny optical sensor that detects movements, allowing you to send commands to connected devices with a few swipes and taps of your fingers. As TechCrunch’s Greg Kumparak described when he wrote about the device’s prototype in January, you can turn down your phone’s volume by swiping your thumb down your index finger or skip the current track by swiping your thumb across the palm of your opposite hand. In the future, creator RHL Vision wants to use biometrics to assign a different behavior to each segment of your finger, basically turning them into buttons.
Fin is one of the coolest wearable devices out there because it makes you look like you have magical powers. But the ring is also very useful, especially for people with visual or motor impairments. RHL Vision says that Fin can potentially help more than 285 million visually impaired people interact more smoothly with technology. If it reaches its stretch goal, the company will make its ring available for $59 to blind people.
To get a sense of a visually impaired person can use Fin, take a look at this video, in two users talk about how Fin helps them control their smartphones and tablets without struggling to see controls on their touchscreens.