New concept images illustrate what an Apple smart ring could look like. The company has received a patent a couple of years ago for just such a device.
The aesthetics are loosly based on the patent from 2019. The pictures illustrate a standard and Pro version of the device. Designers Konstantin Milenin and The Apple Stack (via YankoDesign), imagine a product that would fit in nicely with the rest of the Apple product range.
The standard version of the ring looks very low key and something that could work. The Pro version is quite a bit bulkier – it is hard to see that type of device gaining much traction.
Smart rings aren’t really mainstream just yet – and it is questionable wheather they ever will be. But we are sure there are some Apple fans that would not mind wearing such a device on their finger. Particularly those who do not like to wear the company’s flagship watch as they feel it is not to their taste or is too bulky.
The standard version of the Apple Ring imagines a low-key device with a touchscreen running around it. This would be the control panel as there are no physical buttons.
We like the sleek concept. The small device could track vitals stats, sleep, even exercise – and perhaps allow users to answer calls on the go. It could even act as a remote control or mouse.
The concept for the Apple Ring Pro, on the other hand, adopts a more chiseled look. This one actually reminds a bit more of the company’s patent described below.
The display of the ring is along the lines of what you will find on the Apple Watch – which seems a bit unrealistic. It would need to be a very simplified version of the same as the text would simply be too small. Imagine trying to read a notification on a tiny screen! And increasing the size of the ring to accomodate a large display is not something we see happening.
As far as battery life – we certainly hope such a device runs longer on a single charge than the Apple Watch! A few days would be nice.
Apple’s smart ring patent
Going back to the patent from 2019 and this gives us more detail on what we could expect. The filing includes a rough sketch of what an Apple Ring is supposed to look like “based in reality.”
The Apple text accompanying the filing describes the ring 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 original submission “Devices, methods, and user interfaces for a wearable electronic ring computing device” can be viewed on the US Patent & Trademark Office.
The narrative describes a device comprising of a microphone for voice commands, a finger-ring mounted touchscreen, a speaker and a sensor for writing or character recognition. The thing would also provide haptic feedback. The rechargeable ring is intended to work in tandem with a host of other devices, whether a smartphone, apple TV or light dimmer.
In addition to its other functions, the Apple Ring could also be used as an alternative to a computer mouse. It is possible that the device could carry biometric sensors such as a heart rate monitor or accelerometer as seen within the Apple Watch and other fitness wearables.
The patent goes further on to say:
A wearable ring device comprising: an annular member defining an aperture therethrough that is sized for receipt therein of a first finger of a user; a computer processor housed in the annular member; a touchscreen electrically connected to the computer processor and disposed at least partially at an outer peripheral surface of the annular member, wherein the touchscreen is configured to receive input from a second finger of the user; a wireless transceiver electrically connected to the computer processor and configured to communicate with at least one external electronic device; and a rechargeable power source for supplying power to the touchscreen, wireless transceiver, and computer processor.
Will we ever see an Apple Smart Ring?
As technology is shrinking in size, growing in performance while becoming ever cheaper, Apple has moved from desktop PCs, to laptops, to music players, to mobile phones and finally to watches. It is only logical that the company would be looking to expand further into other forms of wearable technology.
It should be stressed that most tech companies file patents in order to prevent rivals licensing certain features or inventions. This means that Apple’s Smart Ring may remain on the drawing board. It is yet to be seen whether it actually sees the light of day.
Is Apple preparing to break new boundaries? There is a bit of competition in the smart ring area but that has never stopped the Cupertino outfit before. Would you wear an Apple Ring?
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