Apple talks about a wearable ‘Ring’ with sensors in its new patent
Apple is already trying to implement its UWB Ultra WideBand wireless connectivity to detect what a person does. However, it is also working on bringing SMI (self-mixing interferometry) sensors in more future devices, according to a new found patent. The patent is titled "Self-Mixing Interferometry-Based Gesture Input System Including a Wearable or Handheld Device," and specifically talks about the SMI sensors being used in a wearable device, such as a ring.
Although the patent (via Apple Insider) tries to get almost all kinds of wearable devices under its umbrella, it later focusses on a particular device where the "housing defines a closed ring configured to receive a finger."
The ‘Apple Ring' is explained as a device that includes one or more sensors that “emit a set of one or more beams of electromagnetic radiation". The firm also explains that each beam is "emitted in a different direction." As mentioned in the patent, the purpose of the ring is to take "digitized samples of the set of one or more SMI signals" and extract the relationship" between the ring and what's nearby.
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Although some more clarity is required, the patent indicates that there could be a synchronisation between the Ring and Apple Pencil. "When the system includes only one SMI sensor... the processor may determine, for example, the motion of the [ring] (and thus a motion of the user)," says the patent application.
Also mentioned is that in the case of two or SMI sensors, the may be able to determine more number of motions "in a plane (eg in an xy, xz or yz plane of a Cartesian coordinate system)." This is shown with an illustration showing a person wearing the ring and holding an Apple Pencil. This could mean that while using Apple AR Glass, users may be able to "draw" a line on a surface or perform gestures like shake the hand for undo command. And all these might be recognised by the Ring sensors.
In addition, the patent states that the wearable device might also include a haptic engine “to provide haptic feedback to a user, a battery, or other components”
For now, the features and the potential functions of the ‘Ring' might seem to be a lot, but looking at how Apple introduces wearable products, one might not get as many abilities right away upon its launch. And that is only if Apple plans to launch such a product.