Could Apple products get a smart ring for gesture-based object control?

Could Apple products get a smart ring for gesture-based object control?

Apple Files Patent for Smart Ring – A New Era of Device Interaction

Apple is continuously pushing the boundaries of technology, and its latest move doesn’t disappoint. The company has recently filed a patent for a smart ring that can revolutionize the way we interact with devices. This wearable device has the potential to detect skin-to-skin contact and finger movements, allowing users to control various Apple devices such as TVs, iPads, Macs, and iPhones.

While there are already smart rings available in the market that track fitness and health data, like the Oura Ring, Apple’s patent focuses on using the device to interact with other devices. The wearer can perform hand gestures to perform a range of actions on peripheral devices, such as moving a cursor, changing settings, making and answering calls, selecting and opening files, and more.

The patent, filed on August 10, describes a wearable device equipped with “drive circuitry, sense circuitry, and processing circuitry.” What’s interesting is that the patent suggests users could potentially wear more than one ring at a time. This opens up possibilities for even more intricate and nuanced interaction between the user and their devices.

To illustrate the functionality of the smart ring, the patent includes diagrams showcasing its use on one hand, both hands, and even one device on each hand. These diagrams depict hands wearing the ring and performing pinch, tap, slide, point, and other hand movements to control devices.

The smart ring’s ability to sense at 5 megasamples per second (MS/s), or 5 MHz, sets it apart. This high-speed data acquisition capability is commonly used in systems that measure and record various types of data, such as electrical measurements, temperature, acceleration, and vibration. By incorporating this technology into the ring, Apple ensures precise and accurate interaction with devices.

To prevent unintentional actions triggered by incidental or minor movements, the smart ring may include additional sensors. These sensors would exclude external factors like cameras, moisture, optical elements, and force sensors, ensuring a seamless and reliable user experience.

As expected from Apple, the smart ring might also provide haptic feedback through a haptic generator. This feature would enhance the user’s tactile experience and provide a deeper sense of connection with their devices.

It’s worth noting that this smart ring technology is distinct from Apple’s previously announced Apple Vision Pro. The Vision Pro utilizes a set of cameras and sensors to track eye and finger movements when users make in-air gestures. While it is unclear whether the smart ring and Vision Pro technology can integrate, and potentially enhance the user interface, the idea of immersive interaction within the Apple ecosystem seems to be at the forefront of Apple’s vision.

The filing of this recent patent only emphasizes Apple’s commitment to innovation and creating unique experiences. Although Apple has not officially announced the smart ring’s development or release, it’s exciting to envision how this wearable device could add new layers of convenience and efficiency to our daily lives.

Whether the smart ring becomes a reality and when it might hit the market remains uncertain. However, this patent signals Apple’s continuous drive to push the boundaries of technology and further integrate its products into our lives. As Apple continues to innovate, we eagerly anticipate the possibilities that lie ahead.