We’re seeing a few big IoT companies creating smart rings for consumers. For example, a while ago, Amazon announced their Alexa ring that will let you talk to Alexa no matter where you are.
Apple is no stranger to this new ring tech, and is developing a model of its own. However, Apple smart ring one may have an interesting feature built into it: the ability to turn on devices with a pointing gesture.
How Do We Know This?
While this sounds very impressive, it’s not set in stone just yet – if it ever will be. That’s because this news comes from the patent office. This means Apple is definitely considering it, but there’s no guarantee it’ll come to light.
There’s a full abstract on the patent record that talks about what this technology means. Under the “Background” header, we see some interesting details:
The use of touch-sensitive surfaces as input devices for computers and other electronic computing devices has increased significantly in recent years. Exemplary touch-sensitive surfaces include touchpads and touch-screen displays. Such surfaces are widely used to manipulate user interface objects on a display.
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.
The patent goes on to discuss how people in dangerous situations may not want to give away their position by using a touchscreen. It also talks about how swapping between a touchscreen and another input method (such as keyboard and mouse) would be cumbersome.
In short, Apple claims that touchscreens are popular, but they could be better. People may have their hands full where they can’t use the device, making the use of the touchscreen cumbersome, and swapping input modes is annoying.
As such, Apple is going to go one step ahead of touchscreens by removing the “touch” from them. Instead of registering a click or a scroll via touching, the Apple ring will see you perform a hand gesture and relay it to the screen.
What this Means for the Future of IoT
So, what does this mean for the future? From the above abstract, we can see that companies are ready to revolutionize how we interact with our devices.
At one time, a device with a touchscreen was very modern and high-tech; these days, people roll their eyes at a smart display if they can’t use their fingers to control it. Touchscreen laptops were once a luxury, but now it’s a part of the medium to high-end models.
As such, companies seem to be researching what “the next touchscreen” will be. It doesn’t matter if you agree with Apple’s scathing description of touchscreens above or not; companies want to be the first to set the next trend for controlling smart devices, phones, and even PCs.
The Next Touchscreen?
With the touchscreen being a staple for many smart devices, companies are looking toward the next big thing. From Apple’s patent, we can see that they’re researching into hand motion detection via a ring. Whether or not it actually sees the light of day is yet to be seen.
If you want to learn more about this gadget, be sure to read up more about the Apple Smart Ring.