Did Apple invent a ring to rule them all?

What does an already established company do? great accessibility solutions and getting ready to introduce a mixed reality device do when it comes to gesture controls? Make a smart ring to control the experiment, apparently.

Apple invented a ring to rule them all

We believe that Apple will soon introduce its first version of the mixed reality glasses. He has been developing the UI components for such a launch for years. We don’t really know when they will appear.

This speculation has become a gift we’ve been waiting for so long now unwise to guessalthough some say we might see these things this fall, or maybe in january. Most don’t expect Apple’s $2,000 glasses to ship before then, and the company apparently expects 1.5 million sales in the first year.

Powered by M-series chips, these will likely consist of a combination of Apple’s existing tools around the recognition of gestures, voice, movement and direction of the eyes. And it seems possible that the company has found a way to make gesture controls more efficient. He recently won a patent for a specialized smart ring system that can be used with mixed reality applications.

All of this is very Minority report

I imagine this would give users the ability to navigate mixed reality, enabling virtual computing experiences within augmented reality usage, as well as more immersive virtual reality experiences.

The patent, noted by Apple obviously, is for a smart ring used alone, in pairs, or with an Apple Pencil. This last piece seems remarkable; I can’t help but imagine that means you’ll be able to write with your pen in the air to create documents and other assets in your virtual environment – if not immediately, then definitely later.

The rings carry one or more self-mixing interferometry (SMI) sensors capable of detecting and identifying gestures. Think of the squeeze gesture you can already use to answer calls using your Apple Watch as an example of gesture recognition.

The patent shows several different implementations, including using a handheld device with its own built-in sensors, and with one or two of these patented ring controllers. He describes these systems as having the ability to understand gestures such as pinch, zoom, rotate.

Why do you need a UI for glasses

In a sense, Apple needs to build something like this. If he wants to feed a rich developer opportunityit must create systems capable of delivering experiences as complex as those we get when we use a mouse and keyboard or MultiTouch.

At the same time, gesture recognition accuracy is needed, which might be where those Apple rings come in. Giving his glasses the ability to understand finger movements and hand gestures seems like a a natural reflection of the work done by the company since the invention of MultiTouch or, indeed, the adoption of the mouse in the Mac.

Existing devices on the market don’t offer such nuanced controllers, which limits state-of-the-art ways to use these systems in the real world. Once the company introduces a mixed reality system that offers this kind of usability, it will offer a multi-purpose enterprise platform – training, browsing, etc.

Build them and the use cases will come

In 2021, Deloitte describes some of the use cases we can anticipate from such machines.

“Apple’s entry into the eyewear market will be a game-changer for all participants as the technology becomes more standard and popular. Apple has a long history of disrupting new markets and ultimately increase in the size of the addressable market far beyond initial expectations,” wrote Morgan Stanley.

“The arrival of new smart glasses at the end of 2022 and throughout 2023 puts AR devices on the verge of becoming everyday technology”, said Manning Smith, analyst at CCS Insights.

All Apple needs is a ring to bind its use.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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