Apple may be moving past the wrist in its next bit of wearable tech.
The patent application (“Devices and Methods for a Ring Computing Device”), which was filed April 1 and published Thursday, describes a ring worn on the index finger that includes a touchscreen, processor, transceiver and charger and can control other devices. Many of Apple’s patents don’t go on to be recognizable products, so one shouldn’t assume that Apple is putting a smart ring into production. By the look of it, it seems the Apple Ring will act as a controller for various devices and more.
Another area explored is that of money transfer via two ring-wearers shaking hands.
A “smart” ring that detects handwriting and transmits it to a computer screen is being developed by Apple. The company says that large phones “may be cumbersome, inconvenient, or inefficient for certain tasks and applications”.
In a few cycles of the creation, Apple proposes an implicit receiver for Siri voice orders and a two power input engines to pass on different warnings and directional data. A user’s hands may be preoccupied with another task, for example, or the user’s hands and/or arms may become tired after holding the device in a viewing position for extended periods of time.
‘The light emitted by a touchscreen may be inappropriate in certain social environments or even unsafe if it gives away the position of a threatened user.
The patent describes a device comprising of a microphone for voice commands, a finger-ring mounted touchscreen and a sensor for writing or character recognition.
“Any digital right could be passed between users in a similar manner, such as event tickets, music, electronic books or digital files by indicating to one or both of the ring or external device of the user’s intent by shaking another user’s hand”. Potentially, you could talk to your ring to dictate a message, and send it on your phone or tablet via text, email, or a notes app. The ring could also vibrate for notifications and other alerts.
The ring could also be used to control external devices such as a computer’s mouse cursor, a camera’s shutter or a vehicle’s entertainment and climate control system.
The device is also suggested as carrying biometric sensors for heart rate monitoring and motion as seen within the Apple Watch.
Marcos Regis Vescovi and Marcel van Os are credited by Apple for being the inventors and designers for this project. But as with many of Apple’s patent application filings, it’s unknown if or when it plans to bring an Apple Ring to market.