Blinded by the Price

A device to see without sight, adding distinguishable sound to objects that can’t be identified by sound. Dubbed “Info Jewelry” by designer Ryoji Takahashi, this ring and earpiece combo are used to scan products in stores. Once scanned with the ring, the signal is sent to the earpiece which conveys the product name and expiration date, where applicable. What other use could such a thing be? Perhaps many things could come of it!

Ko Yang’s intent is to add the joy of the fifth sense to the meal experience for blind people. I’ve seen similar scanners for book merchants who go to flea markets to scan for books that are worth the purchase.

I’d like one of these to tell comparable prices around the city!

That would be wild. And uneconomical!

Designer: Ryoji Takahashi


  • kiran says:

    Could be useful for the blind. Though there would have to be some sort of physical indication on packaging where to scan the ring. Cool idea.

  • Maestro says:

    Those are funky!

  • KwangErn says:

    They should really design this in a multi-purpose way. Bluetooth headset maybe? With an mp3 player? Maybe it’s not feasible yet…

    • zippyflounder says:

      why must everything have to include a mp3/vid/washer/dryer/dog walker? More features dont mean a better product.

      • KwangErn says:

        Well true…

        But have a look at how Japanese make use of their phones for paying, that’s a huge success.

        Look at mobile phones, it’s another huge success.

        I think it’s all about keeping the balance and complementaries in form.

        • zippyflounder says:

          in that case, make the ring/scanner interface into the existing phone via the existing blutooth system.

          • KwangErn says:

            ‘xactly! ;D

          • GL says:

            I think what’s important now is to show the concept in a direct form rather than hiding the concept in existing products. Or else I’d just design another mobile phone with a headset.
            I do agree it will be useful if it is integrated into existing products we use everyday though but I like the direct message in this design.

  • Brian says:

    Seems like a concept based on an unsubstantiated claim. I’ve also got to wonder if you have read about RFID chips being placed in consumer goods since this is just a rip off of that sort of concept.

    • Brady says:

      Not completely; the RFID are mostly on a BtoB basis for stock and inventory. There hasn’t been a lot of thought to a consumer base (a little, but not like this).
      And As soon as I saw it I did think RFID-enabled=no ‘scanning’.

      Another bonus to this is that you could add the feature of a ‘home base’, then these become practical for all consumers (not just the blind) by reminding a shopper what they have in stock in their home while they are out shopping.

      Another useful gadget.

      • zippyflounder says:

        or use a pen and a piece of paper, eliminating yet another barely useable gadget.

  • Hadley says:

    I think this is a really cool idea!

  • Eric says:

    Great idea, I think RFID would be the way to go with this anyway, better than scanning. Everything will eventually have RFID anyway, including money…

  • grace says:

    I am a big fan of yanko !

  • Eucebio says:

    Karotz va pouvoir remacpler mon Nabaztag pour plus d’interactions avec ma domotique Une tre8s bonne nouvelle que cette API et tout le [email protected], c’est cool pour domogik e7a.

  • agnes says:

    what kind of material using for this ring and earpiece system?
    Is the weight heavy to wear?

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