“Tim Cook has openly stated that Apple is working on ‘new product’ categories. Many people, customers and competitors alike, assume that means some kind of wearable computing device. And of course that means it has to be some kind of ‘smartwatch,’ right?” Craig Hockenberry writes for furbo.org. “I don’t think so.”

“It’s pretty clear to me that a ‘smartwatch’ isn’t in Apple’s immediate future. But they’re clearly interested in wearable technology. So what are the alternatives for a product that could be released this year?” Hockenberry writes. “The first step is to start looking at things from Apple’s point-of-view. I ask myself, ‘What problems can a wearable device solve?'”

“As I think about answers to that question, it leads me to the conclusion that Jony Ive and crew aren’t looking solely at the wrist. Wearable technology could take cues from other kinds of jewelry: rings and necklaces, for example,” Hockenberry writes. “What if Apple’s entry into this space is a ring?”

“The biggest feature of all would be that this wearable device could support iBeacon,” Hockenberry writes. “Your wearable device is transmitting a signal with a unique identifier that can be picked up by an iOS 7 device. And the proximity detection is sensitive within a few inches. Presumably, this signal could be also be detected on your Mac as well, since they have supported Bluetooth 4.0 since mid-2011.”

“By wearing this ring on your finger, your devices can know how close you are to them,” Hockenberry writes. “This opens up a world of possibilities: imagine the joy we’d all feel when a notification only popped up on the device we’re closest to. Right now my ring finger is hovering over my MacBook Air’s keyboard by 2-3 inches, while the phone in my pocket is over a foot away. Notification Center needs this information.”

Tons more about why a ring, not a “smartwatch,” might be Apple’s entry in wearable computing, in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jax44″ for the heads up.]

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Analyst: Apple to release full-blown, ‘iRing’-controlled, carrier-subsidized ‘iTV’ television this holiday season – June 5, 2013
Analyst: Apple ‘iTV’ with ‘mini iTV’ and ‘iRing’ motion controller to launch this year – April 3, 2013