Orbis is a quarterly American journal on international relations and U.S. foreign policy... Wikipedia is wrong, it's an awesome light modifier :) Damien Lovegrove has recently written a few blog posts about the so called 'Orbis Ring Flash', and given the results he has produced with the 'one size fits all' ring flash, curiousity got the better of me. I purchased one through his site and within 24 hours its sat on my desk infront of me as I write this post.
The idea of the ring flash is to create even, simple shadowless light and as such is commonly used in high-end fashion/portrait magazine photography. Designed to fit to your existing speedlites the Orbis is affordable and well built using mirrored prism reflectors to produce even light. The unique way a ring flash renders light produces a distinctive shadowy halo around the subject.
Typical ring flashes are attached to the end of the lens, but with this being off-camera (and fully compatible with ETTL systems) it has greater versatility, for example acting as a small off camera beauty dish/softbox or fill light. Can't wait to try this out!