Get the Original iRing and Beware of Kickstarter Copycats

Get the Original iRing and Beware of Kickstarter Copycats

Here at iPhone Life, we applaud innovation. One such innovative product that I reviewed at CES two years ago is the iRing. The clever ring-shaped mechanism helps you keep your smartphone safe at hand, literally. The metal ring attaches to the back of your phone (or phone case) using a removable and reusable adhesive. This lets you comfortable slip your finger through the ring without having to grab your phone tightly.

iRing

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Speaking of CES, the iRing is great for demonstrating apps at tradeshows, etc. It can work with tablets too, as it supports 15 pound devices. The folks at iRing added more colors like gold and rose gold and at the recent CES in Las Vegas, they showed us their car dock solution, which is a clever way to mount and access your iPhone, leveraging the original iRing.

iRing

Recently, I saw a Kickstarter campaign for a remarkably similar product with a remarkably similar name: the "RiNG." To me, iRing and RiNG are a little too similar. Despite Kickstarter's public policy against such trademark infringement, the project is still live and will close soon. I reached out to Kickstarter and it wouldn't comment because it's a legal matter.

iRing also reached out to the other vendor, whose name isn't even iRing but Bullz-i, who said it knew of the iRing but went ahead anyway. Bullz-i could have still produced the similar product but changed the name, however it decided not to.

Whether the RiNG is a copycat or not, I'm always hesitant to recommend any crowdfunded project from a brand new company. Unfortunately, cost overruns, manufacturing problems, delays. poor quality, and outright fraud can all come with the Kickstarter experience. Even successful projects like the original Pebble Watch, which I personally backed, have seen delays of over a year. So I can't recommend a company that is extremely similar to an existing product yet isn't significantly better or cheaper than the original. Plus, with iRing, you can order it today, in a variety of colors, plus can get a mount for your car, and it uses an adhesive backing that lasts forever whereas the RiNG version is a one-time use.

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.