Apple’s entry into wearable computing: iRing, not iWatch?

“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.]

Related articles:
Without Apple to lead the way, current crop of clumsy wearable gadgets not ready for prime time – January 10, 2014
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

33 Comments

  1. How about a tooth? A glove, ala Michael Jackson? How about a hat? A bra? We could do a story a week like this and get a whole bunch of eyeballs, send page views sky rocketing!

  2. I’m waiting for the iSphincter that the hardcore Apple fanboys can shove up their ass which will automatically pucker up their tightly wound assholes every time they hear the words Samsung, Android, Google and Microsoft being written or spoken about.

    1. You kind of come across as the wound-up one. Actually, for me those “words” have more of a laxative effect. If you look at Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, none of those are considered words. The closest is google as a verb.

      But we appreciate your attempt at humor.

    2. Already been done, where do you think glassholes store their google glasses at the end of the day? Why do you think it’s called minisoft, uh microsoft. Everyone knows that samshung and android is already testing one for car manufacturers except they are having trouble getting it to stick the car.

    3. Funny how it’s only fandroids who care enough to troll on Apple-specific sites.
      Apple fans don’t give enough of a shit about Android to bother. Says a lot about you, don’t it.

  3. A ring? ohhh please..that’s really an insult to Apple or maybe FUDDERS are tired of waiting for the new products TC has promised (for quite a few years now in fact, careful with that Timmy)

  4. I believe this. Consider, what’s easier than one-hand manipulation? A ring can be activated by the thumb on that hand without needing to pull up sleeves, move arms, or drop what’s in one hand to touch the watch on the other.

    In essence nothing is easier than a ring for functionality. Make it click and respond with a super-fast upgraded Siri and you’ve got something wonderful.

    Add a few sensors and the proximity stuff and you’re really off to the races.

    BTW, Liquidmetal can easily (and has been) formed with holograms imprinted into its impervious surface. Imagine the design/beauty possibilities…

    1. A ring also solves the blood pressure issue. It would have to be charged wirelessly though. Or through kinetics. I don’t think there will be a screen on it. Maybe just color indicators.

  5. … and this ring does what exactly? Have too be a damn big ring to be of much use beyond an LED coming on or a beep when you are 3 inches from your Mac so as to tell you you are… well 3 inches from your Mac perhaps rather than your iPad. Yep I can see the press loving this one. The only real function I can imagine is to act as an automatic pass but then it would be useless unless or until other businesses support it. This sounds more like an idea for Sony or Samsung than Apple and if thats the next big thing then I will be worried.

    Can only see such a thing even remotely useful as an add on to something that really is a big thing.

    1. I would imagine the chipset of the iPhone would fit on the face of a ring, so why not produce only those components necessary to accomplish motion gestures and selection by tap?

      Think outside the box.

  6. The next big story will be Apple does Sputnik right, the new satellite that not only beeps to show its there but does so with added Airdrop functionality for any passing astronauts who will no doubt love its liquid metal texture and shiny Apple logo in bronzed Unobtanium. I can just see the advert now with all the complex processes needed to get the exact effect that is required for an Astronaut to see it in all light conditions… unless he is wearing an iWatch of course which will bleep and flash when he is within 3 inches. They will be queuing up around the spaceport for this one.

    Well they did talk to Elon Musk didn’t they, so it must be true.

  7. The iRing will work in conjunction with the iWatch for making and receiving phone calls, but only when worn on the same hand/wrist.

    The iRing would be a bluetooth ear piece and the iWatch would have a mic. If you hold your iRing to your ear it places the iWatch in an ideal position for the phone mic … this can be simulated by holding an iPhone up to your ear as if you were making a call. /s

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