Samsung have filed more wearable technology patents than any other company over the last five years according to research that says Samsung accounts for 4% of the 41,301 patents published on wearables between 2010 to May 2015. Not too far behind are Qualcomm with 3% of patents, then Apple with 2.2%.
Not all patents become a reality and even if they do many of them fail to generate any profit. According to allbusiness.com 97% of all patents filed make no cash. The patent at hand depicting a smart ring was filed by Apple who have a tendency to turn pretty much everything they touch into gold, so it’s probably safe to say it won’t be included in that 97%.
I’m not sure if I prefer the name iRing or Apple Ring, but anyway the abstract patent description mentions: An external electronic device with a finger-ring-mounted touchscreen that includes a computer processor, wireless transceiver, and a rechargeable power source; the ring is worn on the first finger and receives 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.
It looks like the iRing could be potentially used to control smartphones, tablets and IoT devices around the home such as lights, doors, etc. The patent also refers to a biometric sensor, NFC communication, gesture control, haptic feedback, a microphone electrically connected to the computer processor, and voice input.
The image used at the top of this post is just a concept designed by Victor Soto and doesn’t represent the patent.
Despite the difficulties of fitting electronics into something as small as a ring, especially one that looks good, Smart jewelry is destined to play a major role in the evolution of the wearable tech industry thanks to the detirmination and hard work of individuals, and if anyone can pull it off it’s Apple..