When Apple officially announced the Apple Watch last year, many technology enthusiasts began to wonder just how small the company will take their technology next. While all indications point to the Apple Watch selling quite well, the market for the Watch pales in comparison to that of the iPhone. With that said Apple fans are constantly looking towards what may come next from the world’s most valuable company, and today we are lucky enough to get a possible glimpse.
No it’s not a patent for the alleged electric car that they are supposedly working on, but instead something much smaller, even smaller than the Apple Watch. How about a touchscreen and voice-enabled Apple ring?
That’s exactly what was revealed today in a recently published patent application which was filed back in April of last year by the Cupertino-based company. In the application, titled, ‘Devices and Methods for a Ring Computing Device,’ Apple outlines methods in which a touchscreen-enabled device can be worn on a user’s finger and controlled with a second finger. The abstract for the invention reads as follows:
“A user controls an external electronic device with a finger-ring-mounted touchscreen that includes a computer processor, wireless transceiver, and rechargeable power source; the ring is worn on a first finger receives an input from a second finger, selects one of a plurality of touch events associated with the input, and wirelessly transmits a command associated with the touch event to the external electronic device.”
The technology described in the filing seems very similar to that found within the Apple Watch, only on a much smaller scale. The ring can be used as a gaming input device, a stand alone device, or a means to control other, larger gadgets like a Mac, Apple TV, an iPhone, CarPlay or even a future Apple Car, and can be paired using Wi-Fi, bluetooth, or NFC.
The design for the ring depicted in the filing shows that it could have either a square-shaped touchscreen or a more rectangular style, and Apple’s new 3D Touch could be integrated within. Additional features could include biometric sensors to accurately measure a wearer’s heart rate, along with possible haptic feedback.
While a patent does not always equate to an actual product being produce, such a device seems to make sense for a company which loves to tie all their products together with a common interface. Imagine using the ring as an enabler of Apple Pay, or as a method of controlling your home or TV via SIRI and it’s voice input. Although I’m sure we are years away from such a product possibly coming to market I can already see my Apple ring being used to direct the Apple Car, via voice, to take me to the grocery store. One can dream, right?
The full patent application can be found here. Let us know your thoughts on the possibilities of such a device in the comments section below.