WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – Apple really is ringing the changes again – this time with a tiny ‘smart ring’ that will boast many of the functions of the iPhone.
The technology giant was last week granted a patent for an ‘iRing’ that will be able to take photographs, text and tell the time – all while being small enough to wear on your index finger.
The smart ring will even feature a tiny touchscreen as well as apps that can be accessed using the thumb.
A microphone will allow users to dictate text messages while a small camera can take photos. The ring will have biometric sensors to capture heart rate, perspiration levels and temperature so that health- conscious owners can keep tabs on their fitness.
The patent even includes plans to detect the writing motion of the user, allowing it to digitally record hand-written notes.
Similar to the recently released Apple Watch, the device would interact with the owner’s iPhone, for example, by using its GPS receiver to display maps on the ring’s screen. The patent says:
‘The use of touch-sensitive surfaces as input devices for computers and other devices has increased significantly in recent years.
‘A user controls an external electronic device with a finger ring-mounted touchscreen that includes a computer processor, wireless transceiver, and rechargeable power source.
The ring is worn on a first finger and receives an input from a second finger.’
Apple – whose gadgets became must-have products after the late Steve Jobs returned to the ailing firm in 1997 and introduced the iMac – has sold 700 million iPhones worldwide.
Last month, it was reported that the California-based company will launch an electric car within the next four years.
Matt Webb, entrepreneur and internet consultant at interconnected.org, said: ‘The ring might carry extra features, such as all your passwords. That would make it like a 21st Century signet ring.’