At this point the Ring Clock really needs no introduction. The concept emerged a few years ago and now has finally come to fruition, albeit in the form of an Indiegogo campaign.
They’re asking for $287,500 and so far, with 35 days left, they’ve raised $174,000. Impressive, as is the Ring Clock. It stands to reason that they’ll achieve their goal, if not exceed it. However, that isn’t to say skepticism about the products viability have been completely mitigated. And with that I decided it would be a good idea to reach out to the team and see if I couldn’t put to rest some of the questions that have been looming about the Ring Clock.
Can you tell us about the team behind the RingClock?
The designer of the RingClock is Gusztáv Szikszai who thought up the concept when entering a competition to design something that he would like to produce that was not currently available in the marketplace. The designs were striking and when posted online generated huge interest so Gusztav enlisted the help of Sandor Somos, a graduate of the Technical University of Budapest to take the designs into a product that could be launched. A friend of Sandor’s recommended the work of UK based Sales and Marketing professional Mark Blair and the international team was formed.
Who formed the team?
Sandor Somos has been the linchpin of the team project managing the whole process sourcing the correct material, manufacturers, engineers, prototype builders and testers as well as of course front of house staff.
The designed emerge over 2-years ago, why has it taken this long to finally reach a Crowd Funding site?
Initially the designs were only created as a competition entry but as the online design and technology communities made more and more comments about the RingClock Gusztav and Sandor started to look into the feasibility of the product and in Q1 2013 the team started to take shape.
Can you explain in greater detail the process to check the time on the Ring Clock?
Once the time has been set on the RingClock (via the base unit) the process of checking the time is extremely easy – you just spin the ring! The LEDs will then jump into life and shine out through the respective holes to show the owner, and everyone around them, what the correct time is!
Explain some of the hurdles integrating a battery and LED lights into such a small package?
We normally use these technologies on a flat board but now we have to find flexible technology solutions – flexible printed circuit board (PCB), flexible ultrathin battery and small LED’s too!
Who do you anticipate purchasing the Ring Clock?
That is a really interesting question and one that we asked ourselves before the campaign started. Initially we thought that it would be people like us, lovers of technology. At the time of writing these answers we are 7 days into the campaign and looking at the analytics it looks like this has cross demographic appeal which we are particularly pleased about. The colours hopefully appeal to male and female wearers and with the variety of sizes available it should be gender neutral. Feedback has been so positive including from nurses who don’t want to wear watches right through to corporate professionals who want to differentiate themselves and be the first to wear this fantastic gadget.
When will the Ring Clock ship to backers? When will it be available at the consumer retail level and at what price?
Providing the campaign is successful we are working towards April 2014 as being the time when the first batch are sent out but obviously we have built in some contingency time to this so if it can be earlier it will be! We have had a lot of interest from various retail outlets and distributors who we will also talk to at the end of the project and whilst we cannot set a date right now we are hoping that it will be sometime soon after the second batch are ready for distribution.
The Ring Clock battery is said to be good for up to 3 years. How many charge cycles can it go through before degrading?
The battery selection is ongoing, we don’t have the exact number at the moment. We expect minimum 500 charge-discharge cycles before the capacity drops to 80%.
How long will it take to charge?
We expect max. 2 hours
What type of battery did you use?
A non-standard (unique) size flexible ultrathin lithium polymer.
Why not just make a kinetic version from the start?
It requires a lot of research resource and it is a dream that we wish to develop in the future and we could not promise the success of the kinetic version today.
Do you think sales/funding will be impacted negatively as a result of revealing plans for a kinetic version?
Not at all – we believe that people want to experience the first version of this product and as most forward thinking designers / manufacturers should be we are always looking to improve the offering. Those initial backers will be rewarded as and when the kinetic version becomes available but realistically this is going to be some way off because it will take a lot of hard work, time and energy to make this possible.
When will you have a working prototype that the public (and backers) can see?
Any other projects that you’re working on?
This project team is built to reach this goal. As a team we don’t work on other projects.
Anything you’d like to tell us about the RingClock?
We just want to use this opportunity to thank everyone for their support so far and for helping us achieve taking this product to market. It is extremely rewarding to see how many people like and want to own the vision that was created 2 years ago and that we have all been working so hard to get to this point. If anyone wants to get in touch with us please contact us via www.ringclock.net or @RingClock on Twitter. This is just the start of the journey for us and we are already loving every single minute!