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Apple's smart rings may enable air motion controls on its iGlass

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Apple is yet to launch its first mixed-reality headset next year. While details surrounding the device are scarce, several patents by the Cupertino giant have provided hints on what we should expect over the coming years. A new filing shows that Apple wants to use smart rings to enable multi-dimensional controls and mid-air gestures.

Interestingly, the patent spotted by PatentlyApple reveals a type of wearable accessory used in tandem with the extended reality headset which comes in a ring form. Unlike current smart rings such as the Oura ring or Ultrahuman's version that are used in tracking the wearer's biometrics, the Apple rings discussed are designed to add immersive controls for the headset.

Endless air and 3D gestures when using an Apple ring

On one sketch, the patent depicts an Apple ring worn on an index finger where creating a pinch gesture produces a square signal. Presumably, this action could be assigned to output specific commands when interacting with the content being displayed on an Apple VR/AR device.

Apple smart ring as controller for Reality AR VR headset
Apple rings used in controlling a Reality-based headset / © Patently Apple

There is also a different scenario where the index finger is touched to the middle finger in a clipping gesture. The signal saw a different wave signal, which means this can be programmed for another type of command without relying on hand-held controllers like Meta's Quest Pro.

In addition to a single ring, the patent also shows a combination of multiple rings being worn by the user at the same time. Likewise, several motions are possible as more rings are added.

When we will see the smart Apple ring released?

The patent filing does not mean the technology accompanied will see from happening on an actual Reality-based device. This might also tell that Apple has a planned wearable ring device, though it is not clear if we will see it first as a standalone health tracker.

What are your opinions on a smart ring? Do you think it is an essential wearable that Apple should make? We'd love to hear your answers.

Source: PatentlyApple

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Jade Bryan

Jade Bryan
Junior Editor

I still remember how amazed I was when I first got hold of the Nokia 3210 back when I was a kid, and it was during that time I developed my love for technology, particularly for mobile phones. I started sharing my knowledge through writing in different blogs and forums back in Nokia Nseries era. I even make videos before where I put different phones side-by-side. Today, I'm still an avid enthusiast of smartphones, but my interests have evolved into smart devices and electric vehicles.

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