Apple invents a smart ringer device with input mechanisms in the form of a mini-touchpad and/or a scroll ball


Obviously, Apple covered Apple’s first patent application for a future smart ring in 2015 in a report titled “Apple presents us with the Apple Ring in all its glory”. Apple was granted this patent in April 2020. Then, in March 2021, we published a second smart ring invention in a report titled “Apple introduces a new type of smart ring system for use primarily in context with AR applications , VR and MR”.

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a new smart ring patent application from Apple titled “Ring Entry Device with Pressure-Sensitive Entry.”

Apple’s invention covers a smart ring input device, and more particularly pressure sensitive input mechanisms in the smart ring input device which is capable of sensing pressure to initiate an operation.

Since rings are often small and worn regularly, electronic rings can be used as discrete communication devices that are readily available to communicate wirelessly with other devices capable of receiving such communications.

Ring input devices according to examples of the invention can detect tap inputs on its band to generate inputs which can then be wirelessly communicated to companion devices.

Although ring entry devices may be primarily described and illustrated in this patent application as electronic rings for convenience of explanation, it should be understood that the examples of the disclosure are not so limited, but also include ring entry devices which are worn as part of a necklace, hoop earrings, electronic bracelets which are worn around the wrist, electronic toe rings, etc.

Apple notes that in some instances, the wireless transmitter or transceiver can communicate wirelessly with the Mac (desktop and laptop), iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple TV, health monitoring devices, smart home control devices, AirPods and AirPods Max, and future AR/VR mixed reality 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 part of a stationary inner band and a rotating outer band with an electromagnetic rotational resistance generator having a movable brake.

3 Apple Smart Ring patent, Figures 5b and 6

Apple’s patent FIG. 6 above is a symbolic end view of a fixed inner band, a rotating outer band, a guardrail, and an electromagnetic resistance generator configured for an axial electromagnetic force.

Apple’s patent FIG. 14A below is a block diagram of an electronic jewel system of a ringtone input device including a scroll ball and a touch sensor.

4 Apple Smart Ring patent FIG.  14a b

Apple’s patent FIG. 14B above is a symbolic perspective view of a ring entry device comprising an electronic jewel system with a scroll ball and a touch sensor.

In a particular example, orienting and moving the input device ring 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, gestures may be recognized in the ringtone input device, and in other examples, data may be transmitted wirelessly for gesture processing by another device.

For details, see Apple patent application 20220091683.

Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of bringing such a product to market is unknown at this time.

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