Apple sets the benchmarks for innovative consumer electronics year after year, with design elements from the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook being among the most widely adopted.
But Apple has had an almost unchanged product lineup for some time. All that seems to be changing soon with Apple seemingly gearing up for another innovative and game-changing product.
A recently published patent from Apple reveals smart rings that are connected with external devices such as smart phones or gaming consoles. The rings may be connected and interfaced with external devices such as phones.
Multiple sensors (like force sensors and accelerometers), and haptic output devices are incorporated into the rings. The sensors in the rings provide information on how firmly a user presses against objects like a finger press, a finger tap, and a finger swipe. A haptic output is then provided to confirm the press, tap, or swipe.
This sensory information is then used to interact with, and control the connected devices.
For example, the rings can be used to control a virtual reality or augmented reality system. The rings can also allow the user to interact with a virtual keyboard providing the sensations of a physical keyboard even if the user is making finger taps on a table surface. The rings can connect to gaming consoles or computers, and provide joystick-type input only using movement of fingertips.
The rings also include status indicator lights and displays for notification, and display, and include buttons (e.g., power buttons and other control buttons). The rings even include audio components (e.g., microphones, speakers, tone generators, etc.), that will allow you to use the rings like a phone.
This invention could be the next big thing for Apple, and for consumer electronics. Wearable devices have been used to operate other devices, but a device that can seamlessly control different devices with different types of inputs is indeed radical. It remains to be seen how soon Apple releases this groundbreaking product.
Publication Number: US20190004604A1
Patent Title: Finger-Mounted Device With Sensors and Haptics
Publication date: 2019-01-03
Filing date: 2018-09-14
Inventors: Paul X. Wang, Alex J. Lehmann, Michael J. Rockwell, Michael Y. Cheung, Ray L. Chang, Hongcheng Sun, Ian M. Bullock, Kyle J. NEKIMKEN, Madeleine S. Cordier, Seung Wook Kim, David H. Bloom, Scott G. Johnston
Assignee: Apple Inc