Even the devices we use are protected by passwords. It can be frustrating trying to keep with all of the passwords and keys needed to access any door or computer program. This paper discusses about a new Java-based, computerized ring that will automatically unlock doors and log on to computers.
The latest computer craze has been to be able to wear wireless computers. The Computer Fashion Wave, “Digital Jewellery” looks to be the next sizzling fashion trend of the technological wave. The combination of shrinking computer devices and increasing computer power has allowed several companies to begin producing fashion jewellery with embedded intelligence. The whole concept behind this is to be able to communicate to others by means of wireless appliances. The other key factor of this concept market is to stay fashionable at the same time.
By the end of the decade, we could be wearing our computers instead of sitting in front of them.
2. WHAT IS DIGITAL JEWELLERY?
Digital jewelry is the fashion jewelry with embedded intelligence. “Digital jewelry” can help you solve problems like forgotten passwords and security badges. “Digital jewelry” is a nascent catchphrase for wearable ID devices that contain personal information
like passwords, identification, and account information. They have the potential to be all-in-one replacements for your driver’s license, key chain, business cards, credit cards, health insurance card, corporate security badge, and loose cash. They can also solve a common dilemma of today’s wired world – the forgotten password.
2.1. DIGITAL JEWELLERY AND ITS COMPONENTS
Soon, cell phones will take a totally new form, appearing to have no form at all. Instead of one single device, cell phones will be broken up into their basic components and packaged as various pieces of digital jewellery. Each piece of jewellery will contain a fraction of the components found in a conventional mobile phone.
Together, the digital-jewellery cell phone should work just like a conventional cell phone. The various components that are inside a cell phone: Microphone, Receiver, Touch pad, Display, Circuit board, Antenna, and Battery.
IBM has developed a prototype of a cell phone that consists of several pieces of digital jewellery that will work together wirelessly, possibly with Blue tooth wireless technology, to perform the functions of the above components.
Cell phones may one day be comprised of digital accessories that Work together through wireless connections.
Here are the pieces of computerized-jewelry phone and their functions:
Earrings – Speakers embedded into these earrings will be the phone’s receiver.
Necklace – Users will talk into the necklace’s embedded microphone.
Ring – Perhaps the most interesting piece of the phone, this “magic decoder ring” is equipped with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that flash to indicate an incoming call. It can also be programmed to flash different colors to identify a particular caller or indicate the importance of a call.
Bracelet – Equipped with a video graphics array (VGA) display, this wrist display could also be used as a caller identifier that flashes the name and phone number of the caller.
With a jewellery phone, the keypad and dialing function could be integrated into the bracelet, or else dumped altogether — it’s likely that voice-recognition software will be used to make calls.
IBM’s magic decoder rings will flash when you get a call.
The same ring that flashes for phone calls could also inform you that e-mail is piling up in your inbox. This flashing alert could also indicate the urgency of the e-mail.
The mouse-ring that IBM is developing will use the company’s Track Point technology to wirelessly move the cursor on a computer-monitor display. (Track Point is the little button embedded in the keyboard of some laptops). IBM Researchers have transferred TrackPoint technology to a ring, which looks something like a black-pearl ring. On top of the ring is a little black ball that users will swivel to move the cursor, in the same way that the TrackPoint button on a laptop is used.
This Track Point ring will be very valuable when monitors shrink to the size of watch face. In the coming age of ubiquitous computing, displays will no longer be tied to desktops or wall screens. Instead, you’ll wear the display like a pair of sunglasses or a bracelet. Researchers are overcoming several obstacles facing these new wearable displays, the most important of which is the readability of information displayed on these tiny devices.
Prototype bracelet display developed by IBM
2.2. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS OF DIGITAL JEWELLERY
Digital jewelry devices consist of a screen or display for information, most likely consisting of 7-16-segment, or dot matrix LEDs, LCDs, or other technologies such as electroluminescent material (EL) or others, which could become an optional display. So too, an audiovisual or other ‘display’ could consist of a speaker, a single flashing light, a sensor of some kind (such as a temperature driven EL display), or other informational aesthetic. A micro controller that is a surface mounted device (SMD) on a printed circuit board (PCB) with resistors (R) and capacitors (C) are the internal ‘guts’ of the jewelry.
3. DISPLAY TECHNOLOGIES
The digital jewelry display, for instance, every alphabet and number system has found representation within the electronics realm and ‘dot-matrix’ (a matrix of single LEDs) is used to display Chinese and Japanese and other character sets, as can the alternative display for LCDs (liquid-crystal-displays) also be used, as often found in watches.
Digital Jewelry can be made in many different sizes and shapes with a variety of materials ranging from plastic and metal to rubber and glass. They utilize electromagnetic properties and electronics to display information through a screen or display of some kind. This could range from LED 7-segment, 16-segment, dot matrix, and other programmable LEDs devices to LCDs, OLEDs, and other displays, which are all driven by the self-contained jewellery devices themselves.
3.1. PROTOTYPES OF DIGITAL JEWELLERY
Complete HIOX necklace showing all 26 letters of the Roman alphabet extended in 4-dimensional space-time.
4. THE JAVA RING
It seems that everything we access today is under lock and key. Even the devices we use are protected by passwords. It can be frustrating trying to keep with all of the passwords and keys needed to access any door or computer program. Dallas Semiconductor is developing a new Java-based, computerized ring that will automatically unlock doors and log on to computers.
The Java Ring can be programmed to give you access to every door and device.
Blue Dot receptor
The Java Ring is snapped into a reader, called a Blue Dot receptor, to allow communication between a host system and the Java Ring. The Java Ring is a stainless-steel ring, 16-millimeters (0.6 inches) in diameter, which houses a 1-million-transistor processor, called an iButton. The ring has 134 KB of RAM, 32 KB of ROM, a real-time clock and a Java virtual machine, which is a piece of software that recognizes the Java language and translates it for the user’s computer system. Digital jewelry, (designed to supplement the personal computer,) will be the evolution in digital technology that makes computer elements entirely compatible with the human form.
Highlights of Java Ring
Runs Java better (plus portions enhance Java Card 2.0)
Careful attention to physical security (rapid zeroization)
Durability to stand up to everyday use
High memory capacity (up to 134K bytes NV SRAM)
Retail connectivity to 250 million existing computers (less if designed-in before manufacturing)
The basic idea behind the digital jewelry concept is to have the convenience of wireless, wearable computers while remaining fashionably sound. It is hoped to be marketable soon, however, several bugs remain. Charging capabilities and cost are just a sample of the problems that lurk.