Apple Invents a Smart Ring Device with Input Mechanisms in the form of a mini–Touch Pad and/or Scroll Ball
Patently Apple covered Apple's first patent application for a future smart ring back in 2015 in a report titled "Apple introduces us to the Apple Ring in all its Glory." Apple was granted that patent in April 2020. Then in March 2021 we posted a second smart ring invention in a report titled "Apple Introduces a new kind of Smart Ring System to be used Primarily in Context with AR, VR and MR Applications."
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a new smart ring patent application from Apple titled "Ring Input Device with Pressure-Sensitive Input."
Apple's invention covers a smart ring input device, and more particularly to pressure-sensitive input mechanisms within the smart ring input device that is able to detect pressure to initiate an operation.
Because finger rings are often small and routinely worn, electronic finger rings can be employed as unobtrusive communication devices that are readily available to communicate wirelessly with other devices capable of receiving those communications.
Ring input devices according to examples of the disclosure can detect press inputs on its band to generate inputs that can then be wirelessly communicated to companion devices.
Although ring input devices may be primarily described and illustrated in this patent application as electronic finger rings for convenience of explanation, it should be understood that the examples of the disclosure are not so limited, but also include ring input devices that are worn as part of a necklace, hoop earrings, electronic bracelet bands that are worn around the wrist, electronic toe rings, and the like.
Apple notes that in some examples, wireless transmitter or transceiver can communicate wirelessly with a user's Mac (desktop & laptop), iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple TV, health monitoring devices, smart home control devices, AirPods and AirPods Max, and future mixed reality AR/VR Headsets,
Apple's patent FIG. 1B below illustrates an overview of a smart ring device; FIG. 2 is a system block diagram of a ring input device.
Apple's patent FIG. 5B below is a symbolic side view of a portion of a stationary inner band and a rotating outer band with an electromagnetic rotational resistance generator having a movable brake.
Apple's patent FIG. 6 above is a symbolic end view of a stationary inner band, a rotating outer band, a guard rail and an electromagnetic resistance generator configured for axial electromagnetic force.
Apple's patent FIG. 14A below is a system block diagram of an electronic jewel system of a ring input device including a scroll ball and a touch sensor.
Apple's patent FIG. 14B above is a symbolic perspective view of a ring input device including an electronic jewel system with a scroll ball and a touch sensor.
In one particular example, the orientation and movement of the ring input device from one position to another can be used to move a cursor on a user interface or a 3D object being displayed.
In some examples, the gestures can be recognized in the ring input device, and in other examples, data can be wirelessly transmitted for gesture processing by another device.
For finer details, review Apple's patent application 20220091683.
Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.