A New Wearable For Your Finger? Apple Granted Patent For Its Smart Ring
Harin - Oct 23, 2019
It seems like Apple is secretly working on another wearable device as the company's patent has just been approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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The sales of Apple Watch have been really successful. The company also creates one of the world’s best-selling earpieces – the AirPods. Recently, Ming-Chi Kuo, a reputable analyst revealed that the rumored Apple AR Glass will be released alongside the iPhone SE 2 at the beginning of next year.
However, it seems like Apple is secretly working on another wearable device. This information was unveiled through a patent that the US Patent and Trademark Office has just granted to Apple.
The patented technology relates to a ring with a touch screen, a processor, a rechargeable power source, and a wireless transceiver. Users can use this ring with just one touch of their fingers, voice command, or hand gesture, just like the iPhone or iPad. In other words, Apple Ring will not be an independent product.
Why should users use Apple Ring to control other devices? Apple states in its patent that current touch-screen devices are bulky, inconvenient, or ineffective for certain tasks and applications. For example, Apple says that after holding an iPhone or iPad for a while, the user’s hand or arm may be tired. Moreover, the light from the touchscreen device may be inappropriate in certain social environments or even dangerous if it reveals a user’s location.
Apple believes that using a ring as stated in the patent will be more efficient, safer, more discreet, and more convenient for users to interact with a touchscreen device.
Amazon recently released Echo Loop, a smart ring with built-in Alexa. The ring provides almost the same functionality as a smart speaker but is worn on the user’s hand. The device can also connect to the user’s smartphone. Similar to what Apple described on its patent, Echo Loop is small enough to fit in both index fingers. Amazon is offering Echo Loop via invitations at $129.99. After the promotion time, its official price is $179.99.
The Apple Glass is a perfect device for Apple Ring. Although users can activate certain functionalities of the glass by tapping its side, a ring will be easier to use.
The patent number is 10444834 and was filed for the first time on April 1, 2012. If Apple does plan to use this device as an accessory for Apple Glass, we might see it for the first time at the beginning of 2020.
In case the Apple Ring will be used for controlling the iPhone, it might be introduced later in September. Either way, given the experience gained from the Apple Watch, it is certain Apple Ring will be a technological product rather than a piece of jewelry.