Apple has patented multiple iterations on the concept of smart ring wearable technology, VentureBeat reported on Tuesday (Oct. 15).
The patent, granted on Tuesday, has been in the works for over three years and indicates that anything is possible, from Apple ring designs to ring-specific charging solutions.
The patent — dubbed “devices, methods, and user interfaces for a wearable electronic ring computing device” — would allow the wearer to control an external electronic device (iPad, Mac, or even a TV) with a finger-ring-mounted touchscreen that includes a computer processor, wireless transceiver, and rechargeable power source.
Apple’s new device will use a biometric sensor — a wireless system that can “wake up” a device and communicate data about the wearer. The ring could even have a component to make phone calls.
Amazon also announced the rollout of devices last month, including five new Echo smart speakers, more Ring smart home security and smart glasses.
Amazon’s Echo Loop is expected to be available at the end of 2019. Apple, however, has no release date for its ring.
Apple’s patented smart ring — like the Amazon Echo Loop — isn’t a standalone device. The Apple ring wirelessly interacts with other gadgets via voice commands or hand gestures. The ring, for example, can be activated by waving it through the air or talking to it.
“Like Amazon’s Echo Loop, Apple’s smart ring will be able to use Siri; be used for biometric authentication; can be used to control a computer, TV, TV box and used like a wearable mouse with a touchpad. It could be used to control home lighting or control some aspects of a vehicle,” Patently Apple reported.
New data revealed that the North American wearables market hit $2 billion in the second quarter of 2019, with a 38 percent increase year over year.
Numbers from Canalys showed that the quarter’s growth was led by Apple and Samsung, which had 32 percent and 121 percent growth, respectively, at 2.9 million and 800,000 units. Fitbit held on to its No. 2 position, despite showing a modest 18 percent growth and not shipping as many smartwatches as last year.