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One ring to rule them all

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UPDATE: The Elppy crowdfunding campaign is now live on indiegogo.com and the starting price of the smart rings have been reduced to USD $22.

A CROWDFUNDING campaign is being launched to raise capital for the manufacture of an affordable and efficient smart ring.

South Australian company Elppy has designed a smart ring that allows users to control their phone, tablet or laptop for up to two years without recharging.

The campaign will begin on May 24 on crowdfunding website Indiegogo, giving backers the opportunity to pre-order a ring for about USD$30.

The global wearable technology market, currently dominated by smart watches, is booming and is forecast to grow from $1.5 billion a year in 2014 to $5.8 billion in 2018.

Elppy co-founder Aaron Mohtar said the company’s Elppy smart ring could disrupt the trend of expensive smart technology with a simpler, cheaper and longer lasting competitor.

“Our ring is a one use product and works for up to two years with about one to two hours active use each day,” Mohtar said.

“The battery is a normal coin cell battery, but because we are using Bluetooth Low Energy and some smart power saving designs, we can get that long out of the battery.

“The majority of rings cost more than USD$150, and then there are smart watches that are much more than that.”

The rings have a small polycarbonate touchpad and a small band made of a durable elastomer that can be adjusted for size.

It connects to Bluetooth enabled smart devices and allows the user control through simple swiping gestures over its touchpad.

Other smart rings such as Ringly vibrate and alert users of pending notifications on their phone and cost up to USD$225.

Elppy allows users to manage their music, swipe through pages on Kindle or take a hands free selfie without a timer. It can also scroll through power point presentations, eliminating the need for a remote clicker.

Mohtar and co-founders Belinda Wade and Greg Stevens began their smart ring project at Flinders University’s New Venture Institute in South Australia in 2014.

He said people who backed Elppy in the crowdfunding campaign would receive a 40 per cent discount off of the ring’s targeted retail price of $50.

“It’s an obstacle to bring it to the masses but that’s what we are trying to do. Make it affordable and easy to use,” Mohtar said.

The company aims to raise about $75,000 before beginning production and the first batch of Elppy smart rings should be available in November.

New Venture Institute Deputy Director of Operations Ben Flink said Elppy gave users more freedom and made it easier to interact with other devices.

“Smart technology is still a growing industry and what makes Elppy unique is actually that it’s going to be helpful to a broad spectrum of the market,” he said.

The New Venture Institute is the centre of innovation at Flinders University in South Australia and offers a range of resources to support entrepreneurs and start-up businesses.

South Australia’s capital Adelaide has three long-standing public universities, the University of South AustraliaUniversity of Adelaide, and Flinders University, each of which are consistently rated highly in the international higher education rankings.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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