Tech Tuesday

Orii Is The Ring That Turns Your Finger Into A Phone

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It's a scene directly out of a movie where everybody works for an organization with an extremely improbable acronym, like I.C.A.R.U.S. The hero has been captured and all of his high-tech gear taken, except for an innocent-looking ring. He holds one finger up to his ear and calls for backup. The Orii turns your entire hand into a smartphone — no screen required.

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The Bone Phone

The Orii is much like a smartwatch in many ways. It automatically connects with a synced-up phone and keeps you apprised of incoming messages. It doesn't have a screen, so it can't tell you exactly what texts you've gotten, but that doesn't matter.

It's in the phone calls that the Orii really shines. All you need to do is hold your finger up to your ear and you'll hear the other person just fine. That's because Orii uses what's known as bone conduction, directly stimulating the tiny bones in your ear by sending the vibrations through your finger and skull.

For talking, the ring features two noise-cancelling microphones in order to cut down on the background noise the other person experiences. The ring is best controlled via voice commands anyway, and can be used for everything from asking Siri for help to composing your next viral tweet. When your social media star rises, you'll know right away, depending on which of Orii's LEDs you programmed to flash for Twitter notifications.

A Micronized Improvement

Orii isn't the first device to take advantage of bone conduction, but it is one of the smallest. Its predecessors include the Batband, a set of headphones that leaves your ears free, and the Linx smart helmet from Coros, which lets you jam out on your bike commute without drowning out your surroundings.

The concept of sending sound through bone might seem strange, but it's really just taking advantage of the way our brains already receive sound information. The biggest advantage is that you get crystal-clear sound that can't be overheard by anybody else, followed closely by the satisfaction of saying, "Two to beam up," into an empty hand.

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