Appy Geek

inTouch lets you transfer files from any touchscreen using a smart ring, fingernail or bracelet


Imagine being able to touch a photo on your tablet then touch your phone and the file is transferred, regardless of OS. That's what Finnish scientists also imagined, except they then went and made it: meet inTouch.

The problem with sharing files across operating systems and devices is that it can take a while to find a sharing platform in common. For example Dropbox doesn't exist on Windows Phone. And email is often limited to a certain size of file.

inTouch is still in the early stages but the idea is you wear a ring, bracelet, watch, or even “smart fingernail” (a chip embeded in an artificial fingernail) which has some memory, an antenna, but no battery. The system would require the devices to have a special antenna that sends out enough energy to power the ring or other inTouch device - a bit like how RFID works. In a growing wearable future this is a brilliant solution to a common problem.

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If the file is small, or a link, it can be stored in the ring itself to be transferred instantly. For larger files the inTouch device automatically uploads the file to its cloud service so the ring only stores the link. Once the other device is touched the download can begin instantly.

So what's needed other than the ring? That antenna mentioned before need to be installed. While this can be added easily enough now, in the future all devices could have it built-in like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi so it's universally easy to share.

In the future the ring could go beyond file sharing and act as a security measure, unlocking doors or cars. A bracelet could be used as an ID card for industrial equipment identifying certain operators.

Let's hope to see inTouch soon. Even as an open source device via Kickstarter would be great.

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