TECH

Apple's Smart Ring can detect when you snap your fingers

Smart ring Genki's Wave for Work

Skin-to-skin detection can This means the Future Apple Ring will be able to be controlled with your thumb and will also be able to detect when you're playing rock, paper, scissors.

Aside from the now-viral joke about Apple's smart rings detecting infidelity, this is one potential device that didn't get much attention from the rumor mill until January 2024, when all the anticipation seemed to reignite. However, Apple is constantly researching smart rings and accessories for them — and now another corresponding patent has been received for it.

This newly issued patent, “Skin-to-Skin Contact Detection,” covers several methods for detecting “contact gestures or movement between a first body part and a second body part.” This includes options that seem more suitable for Apple Watch bands, or even just intertwining a person's hands, but it comes down to both skin recognition and gestures.

“This also applies to devices and methods for detecting gestures,” Apple says, “between a finger on one hand and other parts of the body (such as other fingers or the thumb of the same hand or the opposite hand). hand) using a device (such as a ring) on ​​each of several fingers of the same hand or on the fingers of different hands.”

Either a ring or a very, very large bracelet

“The circuitry in each device can be configured to sense a signal at one or more of the device's sensing electrodes in response to control signals applied to an actuator electrode in each device,” he continues. “When a specific gesture is detected, the operation can begin.”

One example shows how the position of a person’s hand changes, for example, when he squeezes his thumb and index finger. “[It shows] a hand with an index finger supporting a wearable device (such as a ring) but not touching the thumb.”

Then the second illustration shows when “the index finger now touches the thumb.” Apple's proposed system would sense touch and also generate “a sensitive output signal when the index finger and thumb make contact and break it.”

Other examples show the user pressing a finger of one hand into the palm of the other, which theoretically does not require a ring. But it's all about pressure and motion detection.

Therefore, even more illustrations show when the user's fingers are wide open or closed again. This user is supposed to be able to stroke or swipe the ring, but it involves the pressure of two touching fingers.

Seriously. Scissors.

This means that yes, the future Apple Smart Ring will be able to be used in some kind of remote or virtual game of rock, paper, scissors.

However, since the patent was first filed, Apple has released the Apple Vision Pro, and some parallels can be seen. While this patent specifically and repeatedly mentions skin-to-skin contact, some of the gestures are similar to what Apple Vision Pro can detect to stretch or move windows.

As with the Apple Car, it is possible that research in one area has directly benefited a seemingly completely separate area.

This patent is owned by inventor Michael J. Beich, whose previous work for Apple included the Apple Watch Digital Crown touch and light-sensitive system.

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