Tech giant Apple has won a patent for a smart ring that could let you control your other devices without touching them.
Based on the patent application filed by Apple, the electronic ring computing device will feature a touchscreen, wireless transceiver, processor, sensors, and a rechargeable power source.
The patent was originally filed in 2015 and it is unclear if this will become a commercial Apple product.
In the patent Apple explains that touchscreen devices can be seen as “cumbersome, inconvenient, or inefficient for certain tasks and applications,” reports The Sun. The company says the Apple Ring could be a more efficient way to control iPhone or iPad from a distance because holding these devices for too long could fatigue some users.
Apple also underlines the potential safety features of the ring. It says that the light emitted from some touchscreen devices such as a smartphone, could be “inappropriate in certain social environments or even dangerous if it gives away the position of a threatened user.” Therefore, the company says that in a dangerous situation the smart ring could be a safer and more discreet way for people to get help.
Apple also suggests that the ring might contain a telephone module for making phone calls and that the touch surface could be either a pad or a small screen.
The Apple ring can communicate to the device it’s paired with in various ways, like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular, and NFC. The patent draws a scenario where the user is able to transfer money to someone else with a handshake, and authorize the transaction with a voice command. This could also be used to transfer messages or share files with another ring user. The ring also has biometric sensors and can monitor the wearer’s heart rate.
According to The Sun report, if this smart ring is meant to be a supplementary device for other wearables like the rumored Apple Glasses then the Apple ring could be launching around 2020.