ArcX ring lets phone-using athletes keep their hands on the action
There are many sports where both of your hands are occupied, making it difficult to remotely control your smartphone – even if you're using a smartwatch. The ArcX Sports Ring, which will make its debut at CES 2021 later this month, was designed to remedy that problem.
Worn on the index finger, the silicone-bodied ArcX has a combination joystick/pushbutton control on one side, which is operated by the adjacent thumb. This means that both of the user's hands can remain in place on the bike handlebars, kayak paddle, rowing machine handle, barbell or whatnot.
Commands are transmitted via Bluetooth to a paired smartphone, where they can control music playback, operate the split-time stopwatch, accept or reject incoming calls, or perform additional functions. The ring can also be paired to other remotely-controllable devices, such as Bluetooth speakers, smart glasses or actioncams.
An iOS/Android app is initially used to configure the system, depending on what the user wants to control. If they're using the ArcX to control smartphone music playback, for example, the four-directional joystick is utilized to raise and lower the volume, and to skip ahead or backwards to other tracks. Quickly pushing the button down plays or pauses music – or suspends music playback to accept an incoming call – while holding it down for five seconds sends out an emergency SOS call.
The device itself is IP67 waterproof, meaning it can withstand being submerged to a depth of 1 meter (3.3 ft) for half an hour. One charge of its lithium-polymer battery should reportedly be good for five days of "typical" use. And by using an included mount, it can be attached to a set of handlebars instead of being worn on the finger.
If you're interested in buying an ArcX Sports Ring of your own, you can register for updates via the source link below. Company founder/CEO Paul Blair tells us that production should begin next month, with shipping to commence in May. It will be priced at US$99, and is demonstrated in the following video.