WHO, WHAT, WEARABLE
Now you can pay for your morning coffee with a gentle, Jedi-like wave of your hand. The NFC Ring is billed as the first-ever payment-enabled ring, and allows wearers to pay for goods and services using NFC (near field communication)—the same contactless payment technology used by Apple Pay. The brand, which was funded on Kickstarter with buy-ins from investors including WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, partnered with Visa on the device. And Visa, a longtime Olympic sponsor, beta-tested the wearable on 45 Olympic hopefuls this past summer.
What We Liked: The robotic styling of the NFC Ring feels chic in a minimal way—a refreshing change from the glut of smart rubbery bands and cocktail rings on the market. The ceramic shank was originally created to operate under precious-metal ring designs. But we’re digging its Ex Machina vibe as is.
Best Feature: In addition to paying for things, the ring unlocks Android phones and—if you get an NFC-enabled door lock—your front door, all with a wave. It can also be programmed, through its accompanying phone app, to open certain phone apps and share documents with others. Best of all, you never have to charge the NFC Ring. Ever. ($38.93–$45.42 at store.nfcring.com)
SUPPLY IN DEMAND
Does something smell rotten? Meet the odor-fighting AE4000.
Few things are more off-putting in a retail store than bad or stale smells. Vanquish wafts of just-cooked Lean Cuisines and counter sprays with the AE4000 scent system from Air Esscentials. This compact machine fights malodorous air by atomizing fragrant essential oils into a microfine vapor that’s then dispersed. Just screw in a bottle of Air Esscentials aroma (Grapefruit Vanilla is the No. 1–selling scent) and program the level of scent you want maintained in any room. ($850 at airesscentials.com/store; $90 for a four-month supply of essential oil)
MagicPlan, often used by retailers and retail designers in planning renovations and interior revamps, measures rooms and creates professional floor plans by scanning photos of any given space. Just stand in the middle of a room and snap a series of photos as you turn in a circle, then mark the room’s corners in the pics. Once a space is configured, you can add objects, annotations, photos, and attributes to generate detailed reports or work estimates. The app also lets you share floor plans as PDFs or JPEGs. It’s not actually magic, but it’s not far off. (Free at iTunes and Google Play; $2.99 to create a working file; unlimited usage for $9.99/month)