Smart ring: Installation of sensors during laser-based powder bed fusion holds great potential

A full handbag or bulging trouser pockets – who doesn’t know what it’s like when keys, wallet, and more have to be lugged around. Fraunhofer IGCV has a simple and stylish solution: A smart finger ring with an integrated microchip. This technology, in which the electronics are integrated directly within the 3D printing process, can be used in various ways and offers great potential.

Smart finger ring with RFID chip

The smart ring developed at Fraunhofer IGCV is only slightly larger than a conventional finger ring, but it can do a lot. The RFID chip, embedded directly in the 3D printing process, can for example be used for locking doors. And the ring not only replaces keys – information from a wide variety of cards can be transferred to the chip in the ring. In this way the ring could be used to pay at the cash register or to store important health card data, such as blood type or drug intolerances. The ring can not only make our lives easier but also a little safer.

Open Sesame! The smart ring acts as a door key

The smart finger ring was developed in the Kinematam project – a sub-project of the large-scale Multimaterial Centre Augsburg project funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy.

The new manufacturing process, in which electronics can be placed directly in the component using an automated process in powder bed-based additive manufacturing, deserves special attention.