A few months ago we covered a patent filed by Apple for a future smart ring which could potentially be used to control smartphones, tablets and IoT devices around the home such as lights and door locks. The Apple patent refers to a biometric sensor, NFC communication, gesture control, haptic feedback, a built-in mic, and voice control.
Not to be outdone by Apple, it looks like Microsoft are also aiming to bring a new way to control their devices, also in the form of a smart ring. A patent uncovered by patentlymobile shows a wearable tech control system that’s driven by surface sound and gestures.
Mobile computing is now a part of everyday life with smartphone and tablet users emailing, tweeting, shopping, listening to music, gaming, watching Game of Thrones and whatever else you get into while you’re on the train. So far, touchscreens have served as an efficient way to interact with on-the-move media.
However, in the emerging age of wearable technology, touchscreens don’t stand up to the task as well as they have done in the recent past, especially for eyes-on gadgets such as augmented reality smart glasses and virtual reality headsets. This also applies to smartwatches and fitness bands which have limited space for touchscreens.
Microsoft’s smart jewelry patent is a lot to do with gesture control – using finger movements to control wearable devices. The patent refers to a smart ring that can be worn on one or more fingers. It also mentions a pressure sensor and a combination of a ring and depth sensor providing the benefits of a touchscreen without actually having a touchscreen.
So much focus is directed towards the fashion element of wearable tech – and rightly so. Microsoft aren’t exactly best known for parading their products on the catwalk so maybe the aesthetics of their smart ring will be left to a partnership with a recognized fashion label.
The image used at the top of this post is a concept design only..