An OLED Ring for Bluetooth Notifications

Wearables are the next frontier of amateur electronics, and [Kevin]’s Arduboy ring (link dead, try Internet Archive) is one of the best examples we’ve seen yet.

Inside the Arduboy is an nRF51822 – a chipset with Bluetooth Low Energy, an ARM Cortex M0,256k of Flash, and 16k of RAM. There’s also a an OLED and a touch button for displaying notifications from a phone, with the ability to reply to these notifications.

The enclosure for the ring is rather interesting. It’s a bit thick, but that’s for a reason – there’s a 40mAh battery stuffed along the sides of the ring. The enclosure itself is 3D printed to spec, and contrary to some beliefs, there’s nothing wrong with bending a LiPo cell once. Sure, it only has four hours of battery life with the display on, but it has a 24 hour battery life in standby mode, making it almost useful as an everyday wearable.

This is [Kevin]’s second wearable, the first being the Ardubracelet, an extremely interesting OLED bracelet with three different displays.  The Arduboy is much more compact and comes extremely close to looking like a product. You can check out the video of it below.

27 thoughts on “An OLED Ring for Bluetooth Notifications

    1. I got rick rolled :D “Never Gonna Give You Up” and “All your base are belong to us”…

      Anyways, this ring is amazing, and it would be awesome to get this out to “mass” production :)

      1. Very nice work sir! If you want to email me something I’ll put in the next demo and I can also be sure to make you are first to get notified if/when we make these!

        It seems like there would be a market for perhaps just selling the hardware so people can 3d print their own cases to make whatever wearable device they want! More news soon!

  1. Now this I want.

    I would even accept it to be longer if it was thinner so it won’t spread my fingers apart.

    Tungsten rings cost $10. Would it be possible to make the whole shell of the ring tungsten?

    1. The length is already at a maximum so you can still close your fist. I bet this could be made about 20% smaller without more work and more custom work. This current design features a hollow cavity in the ring to hold the battery so it actually has to be 3d printed. You could make it with other methods but it would have to be constructed in two halves. Shapeways offers a variety of metal print options that are quite affordable but I’m not certain if it would block the bluetooth radio or not.

    1. The memory LCD from Sharp that is featured in the Pebble is about the best bet, and they don’t make one much smaller than that… yet. I’m going to be headed to China soon to look into new display modules.

      As mentioned in another post, we are looking at offering just the bare hardware so people can build it into whatever wearable project they like.

  2. “comes extremely close to looking like a product.”
    what kind of backhanded compliment is that? If you want to say it looks super nice, you can do just that. If you want to be a grouch you can say it does not look like a mass produced object. Doing both things at the same time is something I’ve only heard product designers do.

    1. Sounds like a compliment to me! :) I made this in my apartment mostly by myself, so when someone tells me they can almost see it in a store shelf it just means I need a little bit more work to do.

      Think about how much resources a project like this would have required 5-10 years ago! It’s totally amazing people can make things like this on their own for under a hundred bucks, Heck, all of the software I used was free!

    1. A punch would indicate you would rather not communicate with somebody and I can also think of a couple that would clearly indicate that you do, although these options may not be wise to use in public.

  3. Yes you can indeed bend Li-Po’s but *sudden* ie impact or very sharp bends are a definite no-no.
    I have done this to make a cell fit a slightly curved phone casing and it did indeed work, best not done if the cell is larger than 300mAh as this is the threshold for “Bad Stuff” ™ if there is an internal short.
    Also once the cell has been charged and discharged more than say 30 times it should not be moved unless completely discharged as this accelerates Li dendrite formation.

    I did have a truly brilliant idea to make a “functional blade” for a nanocopter this way, simply mount the motor inside the top blade and have the body spin the other way as the second blade with several small cells in series shaped to the internal 3D printed profile.

  4. Good damn job on that. Ring wearable technology is really cool, but it’s basically pushing the limits on what can fit in such a tiny space. I personally couldn’t see myself wearing a ring that has a screen (bad eyes, hard to see a small oled), so I stuck with a smart watch; exponential more room to work with, bigger screen.

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