Bling and Bing? Microsoft about to launch smart ring

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The Microsoft smart ring patent features voice activation and gesture control
The Microsoft smart ring patent features voice activation and gesture control

According to a patent unearthed by website Patently Apple, Microsoft could be about to launch its first piece of smart jewellery.

Earlier this month the US Patent Office published a new Microsoft patent application covering an invention that relates to using wearables – such as a ring or a wristband – to control other devices, including a TV or smartphone.

Incorporating a microphone, the device – which doesn’t have a touch screen – will enable you to scratch the arm of say the family room leather chair with that unique sound wave controlling the change of channels or audio on your TV.

In a second patent, Microsoft has added a depth sensor to allow the watch to be controlled by gestures in the air above it. Similar to Kinect, Microsoft’s depth sensor technology could be added into smartglasses or AR headsets such as HoloLens to turn a smart ring into a control device. The ring is also described as “pressure sensitive” and promises the benefits of a touchscreen without an actual touchscreen.

According to Patently Apple, Apple is also reportedly developing a smart ring, which according to the patent is a discreet and more ergonomic way of interacting with touchscreens and touchpads. Apple’s invention describes a new wearable computer in the form of a ring with touch-sensitive surfaces, gesture sensors, and/or voice-input recognition, a camera, microphone and more. You can read more information about The Apple Ring here.

Neyya, a start-up which began life as an Indiegogo campaign, has also just launched a smart ring, which features a smart touchpad on top for swipe controls for phones, Macs and PCs. Says neyya’s CEO Sonia Hunt:

“Microsoft potentially joining the smart ring race is exciting and makes for yet another huge validation for neyya. Being smart, simple and small was always neyya’s goal and it’s wonderful to see companies like Microsoft and Apple confirm our design.  neyya is already available for purchase in Brookstone, Bloomingdales, Selfridges, Target and Amazon with more to come.”

Chris Price