A Chinese company called GEAK has been making the rounds in the tech press today thanks to some interesting upcoming products. Perhaps the most interesting is the GEAK Ring, an NFC-enabled ring that unlocks your phone when you hold it. The idea is that holding the phone with the same hand you have the ring on will make the NFC chip int he ring prompt the phone to unlock itself, and as an added bonus it can store contact details for easy sharing.
The ring will initially only be compatible with GEAK devices, but will supposedly be compatible with other devices sometimes this fall. For any Tasker user, however, these rings should work out of the box, allowing you to recreate the functionality- and add more uses for it- long before any official support is added for other devices. I don’t see any indication that these rings don’t contain standard NFC equipment, and there are plugins for Tasker that allows it to act on proximity to any NFC tag, without the need for software from the NFC tag manufacturer.
For those who don’t want to wait, all you really need to do to replicate this functionality here and now is find an NFC tag small enough to be put into a ring. Since I don’t have an NFC capable phone I’m not really read up on what sort of tags are available right now, but some quick searching lead me to both a NFC enabled pen and an NFC wristband that may prove useful for a project like this.
If you do decide to try this, you should first make sure that you can consistently unlock your device using Tasker. I use Secure Settings with root access for that, and it works fine, but I know for a fact that the result can be very device-dependent.
Also, while this particular commercial product is fairly limited and straight forward in what it does, there’s nothing stopping you from doing more with this idea and Tasker. You could for instance set up an NFC enabled tablet to only be unlockable with various rings, and configure a ring for your child that unlocks it but limits what can be done on the tablet at the same time. Another idea would be to automatically answer the phone when you pick up the phone, based on the ring’s proximity.