Engineer’s Account of the R02 Project: A Revolutionary Wearable Device (Part One)

As a development engineer at COLMI, I was incredibly fortunate to have been involved in the entire development process of the R02. It brings me great joy to know that since its market launch in early 2024, over a thousand new users daily across the globe have started wearing this revolutionary product, embarking on a new journey in smart wearable technology.


My fascination with rings, an ancient form of jewelry, began the moment the R02 project was initiated. Rings first appeared on the fingers of ancient Egyptians, who believed the circle symbolized eternity. Thus, they used rings to represent an eternal blessing for love and marriage, eventually evolving into a sacred token of matrimony. Additionally, it was thought that the vein in the ring finger leads directly to the heart, imbuing the act of wearing a wedding ring on this finger with a sense of heartfelt connection.


In China, dating back to around 1000 BCE, rings were often made from jade or animal bones, symbolizing the wearer's esteemed status.


As a veteran in the wearable industry, my understanding has always been that wearable products must first and foremost be comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and elevate the wearer's sense of style and sophistication. Only then will people want to wear them at all times. The next priority is functionality; improving people’s daily lives through technology, allowing them to experience the benefits technology brings to their health and daily activities.


From the very first R01 to the current R02, our development team has focused on making the smart ring beautiful, comfortable, and durable - the core elements of our product design. The development process always starts with the product ID (Industrial Design). However, the R02’s design phase witnessed the most intense debates and lengthy discussions about aesthetics in COLMI’s history. After numerous design iterations and consultations with many jewelry industry professionals, we reviewed over 30 design drafts. In the midst of debating which design was the coolest, our chief designer, Mr. Gao, concluded that simplicity is the truest and most universally acceptable form of beauty when opinions on aesthetics are divided.

r02 smart ring
r02 smart ring
r02 smart ring
r02 smart ring
r02 smart ring

The final design of the R02 is the simplest and most unadorned, yet it beautifully encapsulates the essence of eternity.

r02 smart ring
r02 smart ring
r02 smart ring

This phase alone took over three and a half months. Next, we focused on selecting materials for the smart wearable components. Once the ID was confirmed, choosing the materials became much simpler. We unanimously decided on a titanium alloy shell, previously used in the aerospace industry for its light weight, high strength, and corrosion resistance. The interior uses a low-temperature, high-transparency epoxy resin to encase and secure the electronic components.


Nearly four months were spent on the design and material selection, with the electronic component design and development work only halfway complete. Many challenges lay ahead, with the primary issue being the need to keep the ring's profile slim without sacrificing space for electronic components. The thickness of the ring's band had to be carefully balanced to maintain aesthetic appeal without compromising on space for essential components, ensuring they did not come into contact with the titanium shell. We consulted numerous IC manufacturers, battery suppliers, and even FPC producers, always asking how thin their products could be. Whenever our hardware engineers reported a potential reduction of even 0.1mm or 0.05mm in overall height, I was ecstatic, as it meant the R02's design was one step closer to the ideal ring envisioned by many.


After engaging with over 20 suppliers and nearly a hundred discussions among hardware and structural engineers, we managed to keep the band thickness to 2.7mm. This achievement was a relief to us all, ensuring the R02 did not become cumbersome.


The journey to this point involved accumulating nearly 40,000 kilometers of travel on planes and high-speed trains.


Nine months after the project's initiation, I held the first prototype in my hands. However, this was not the end of the challenges.


Having been selected for a new product development team, I’ll save the rest of my story with the R02 for another time.

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Post time: Mar-16-2024