NFC Ring creator hails community support as funding closes at £242,000

The inventor of the NFC Ring has praised the Kickstarter community for its ideas and support following a highly successful fundraising campaign.

John McLear
JOHN MCLEAR: “I’m really happy”

More than 7,600 backers raised £241,947 for John McLear’s NFC Ring — smashing the initial target of £30,000.

“The original goal was really basic, just to see if people liked it. We also aimed for £300,000 as the very top end, getting around £230k will be awesome,” McLear told NFC World.

“I’m really happy, it’s basically created a mini community that’s been suggesting ideas like hacking with NFC and payments. It’s got loads of people thinking about it and that’s what we wanted.”

McLear said that a survey sent out to all backers received a great response: “We asked everyone for three things they would like to be able to do and pretty much every backer had at least two, if not three, really useful ideas.

“We’ll probably end up collating all that information, picking the top five most popular and prototype them to see what works best. A lot of ideas can seem like a great idea at the time but if they cause any friction in your daily life they’re no good. We won’t have that much money left over after the first production runs for R&D so we’ll have to see what has real world value before investing fully.”

The NFC Ring team are already in discussions with companies looking to get involved in the project.

“The press and media have grilled us really hard on the product and it’s been really useful just having conversations with professionals who are knowledgeable about the technology and pushing us to try and do things like payments.

“We’ve now had a payment provider who wants to work with us and also a company that provides a different form factor inlay that could be really interesting in potentially using smaller inlays and making space to store things like really small batteries without losing readability.

“Hopefully by creating enough noise and having enough companies involved we can get to the point of introducing more complex features such as payments but that’s going to be a lot further down the line.”

For now, McLear says the immediate goal is to ensure everyone receives their rings as close as possible to the pencilled-in late September date.

“We ordered the inlays about two weeks ago, enough for 17,000 rings, and it looks like our total order will be about 10,000. So we have the parts, it’s more of an admin job to make sure we know everyone’s colours and sizes.

“I’m sure we’re going to deliver, it’s not questionable but I want the first batch delivered by September — but, honestly, it could be early October. It’s all dependant on if we have too many rings to air freight and have to use a shipping container, which is ultimately slower.

“Christmas time is perfect for this, wrap it up nicely and you’ve got a really great stocking filler — it would be stupid of us not to get it out in time.”

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