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@jasok2 yeah, we killed off the t-shirt a little while back, there's a comments section on the project preview page thing.
At the moment really all we're waiting on is a final decision on which reader we'll use - there are a couple very good options at the moment and another is on it's way for testing.
It's probably not possible to have the image come onto the phone as a wallpaper, the image has to be on the phone in the first instance. However if the images were on the phone it is possible for the ring to trigger a change in wallpaper. I use hdim detect in one app to trigger tasker to change another app that can change live wallpapers or normal wallpaper.
The ring itself probably cannot store enough data for a wallpaper image.
However you could use the ring to take your self to a URL that could have that image on it, but for it to happen seamlessly on a random phone could be tricky.
I would think a particular phone that was set-up right would be the best option.
I'm going with middle-finger on my right hand, because I already wear rings on that hand and I don't want it on my left hand and damaging my wedding ring. My only concern (with complete paranoia mode) is that I've then got to be more careful with devices as they might accidentally read the private half of my ring when I use them (e.g. the idea of stealing data by putting an NFC reader in a mouse, or a door knob, or a glove when you shake hands, etc)
Most devices read the contents of the ring and then remember those credentials rather than reprogram the ring themselves.
So as long as you program your own data into the ring and then don't change it, you should be good to go. Just program each access control device after that to recognise what you have entered into the ring.
One of my ideas/concepts at the moment involves car access via NFC ring.
What I'll be looking at doing once I have a ring to play with and have finished a couple other projects is to see if I can use an arduino with an NFC reader to trigger a relay that operates an electric door latch of the type used on hot rods etcetera when the door handles have been removed.
The triggered latch then moves freely and allows the door to be 'popped' by a spring fitted to the frame.
The concept should be achievable, though I haven't even started to look at it - issues I can see straight out are the receiver loop and where it will be placed. I'm unsure what the effect will be of a large amount of metal in the surrounding area. (I have a 1970s american car.)
This might be easier with a newer model vehicle where the door handle area is largely plastic.
With this setup there would be no real need for a 'lock' action because closing the door removes the possibility of re-opening it without having the ring or knowing the 'emergency' procedure. The only need for the ring then is unlocking and popping the door, which should be suitably dramatic - reach towards where the door handle used to be and the door springs open.
There are plenty of hot rod websites that sell these door kits, and there are heaps of choices for your NFC reader in far more sane packages than a smartphone strapped to the car.
I haven't played with any of those apps, but I have been playing with being able to unlock my phone via NFC using the standard lock screen. It seems like if this were possible, it would solve your issue.
What I don't know is how secure it is. I guess if you keep your NFC chip from being scanned, you'll be fairly secure.
Involves some minor hacking of your phone, which has some risk associated with it.
Involves rooting your phone.
Seems like it has potential to cause trouble for you if it's installed incorrectly, especially if you don't know how to back up and restore your phone if something goes wrong.
But I've been toying with my phone, so I took the plunge, and it's been, mostly, working for me.
Then there's some set-up involved.
The upshot is that I can now set a standard passphrase and use the default lockscreen, but when the prompt comes up to enter a password, I can enter the password or scan an NFC tag. Except for the option to scan a tag, the lockscreen is unchanged.
Hasn't been 100% bug free for me, but it's also not clear whether my issues are with this mod or are because of other things I've done when fiddling with my phone's software.
DanielAC, the backup is an interesting idea.
In my case I'll be wearing two rings and will simply use the second ring to gain entry and then re-program the system minus the lost ring.
The Samsung EZON range also allows pin entry, after which you could reset the unit and manually re-enter codes and remaining access devices minus the lost one.
A similar thing could be implemented with a home built system.
Personally I'd angle away from the backup card route if only because the attraction of the ring is that I can walk outside at a moment's notice without having to remember to pick up keys/wallet/etc and still get back inside with no hassle whatsoever.
The three rings that I've pledged for, two of which I'll wear, will all be programmed differently but all will be entered into the various reader mechanisms I'm looking to have in place so all will allow access and a lost one wont necessarily be a huge trouble unless I'm storing bitcoin wallet details or similar.
The current design of the rings allows self-programming and therefore the vendor doesn't need to be involved for anything more than the supply of a new/replacement ring.
[b:1ijm9hya]As I understand it[/b:1ijm9hya] the NFC tags embedded in the ring will consist of a unique identifier and then whatever information the end user programs in.
This is far preferable in my eyes to a solution that comes pre-programmed and is unchangeable, it gives a lot more leeway in usage. For instance you can program in a vcard on the public side of a ring and then program your access points to recognise that ring id+vcard as your unique entry ID.
The tag identifier being different should also stop people from cloning the entire device (unless I'm completely off the beaten path here) because a surreptitious read would give ring id+vcard, then programming it into a different device would either end up with tag id+ring id+vcard or tag id+vcard and should therefore not work in your access point.
So if the last paragraph is correct and not just a wrong assumption on my part then the only real remaining security concern for normal use is what you actually put in the writable area of the ring and how personal or privileged that information is. Security conscious people can go crazy with randomly generated keys that reference things known only to them or the average user can put their name and phone number or a random phrase. There'll probably be someone out there who puts in their credit card number plus ccv or pin, but they're hopefully few and far between.
Obviously you can't encode anything on to the ring, but I think we could use this functionality to 'Share' the link to a database (or just an online hosted text file public or a google drive one line .txt) assigning a NFC Ring hash to a url.
Just wanted to correct this, there are writable areas on the NTAG203, though one is OTP another is good for user data.
An external antenna is always possible providing the manufacturer supplies a connection for it but it can't just be a piece of wire.
With NFC they're not really antennas, they're inductance loops. So they really have to be tuned to a certain size/shape in order to work properly and for best performance they should be closely matched in size/shape/tuning to the device to be read.
Reading is achieved by inducing an RF field which resonates with the NFC tag when it enters the field and provides power and communication between the two devices that way.
Without this the device doesn't power on and you don't achieve a read.
To be honest while I thought it was a cool idea, and toyed with backing it, it looks to be a pretty chunky ring and I don't know that it'd be all that comfortable. I think we've got a way to go before self powered devices can be compact enough.