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Apple files patent for smart ring

Is this really happening?

By Andrea Tim | Published: 5 Oct 2015

Apple smart ring
Photo: The Verge

While Apple makes its phones bigger and bigger, its tech accessories could be getting smaller and smaller, and at the same time, even more interactive. Hot on the heels of the Apple Watch hype is the possibility of a new smart ring in the making. It's not the first time we've heard about wearable technology for your finger, but Apple might be on the way to making it even, well, smarter.

The Verge reports that the tech giant has applied for a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The document refers to the device as "a finger-ring-mounted touchscreen that includes a computer processor, wireless transceiver, and rechargeable power source."

The patent further describes the would-be specs in the tiny gadget: "Use of existing touchpads and touch-screen displays, however, may be cumbersome, inconvenient, or inefficient for certain tasks and applications. A user's hands may be preoccupied with another task, for example, or the user's hands and/or arms may become fatigued after holding the device in a viewing position for extended periods of time."

A touch screen may not be the best idea for something as small as a ring, but we won't say no to a ring that responds to commands given via touch technology. Just think: worn on the forefinger, your thumb could do all the touch gestures on the ring (you're testing the idea now, aren't you?).

Apple seems to be considering having a screen on the smart ring, not that this is definitely in development. The company does, however, acknowledge the awkwardness of the emitted light from the screen, and so, "A need therefore exists for a more discreet, safer, more efficient, or more ergonomic way to interact with touch pads or touch screens."

Rumours remain rumours until Apple's keynote announcements and the smart ring remains (for now) as a filed patent, but it doesn't mean millennials everywhere aren't excited about the idea.

Related: Levi's and Google to make wearable technology together


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