Not so long ago, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) told the media that Samsung has another patent for a smart ring in the works.
According to the regulator, the "smart ring" wearable could be compatible with a vast array of devices, from handsets to tablets and even smart TVs. There is a chance that the smart ring will integrate commands to help it interact with home automation systems.
The documents submitted by the South Korean OEM showcase a ring, codenamed #100, and a smartphone, identified as #110. The Figures 4A, B & C from the patent presents the smart ring and the position of its sensors.
The company released some more images, describing how the ring would behave when used in combination with a smartphone, TV or tablet. Looking at the official visual clues, it seems that the wearable only rotates in a counterclockwise direction, but there is a high chance that the manufacturer will add a clockwise rotation to expand the array of recognized gestures.
The patent's Figure 9C shows how a smartphone that recognizes the wearable opens up a shortcut menu. In it, users see icons that are linked to the ring's functionality, alongside icons that correspond to the customized gesture shortcuts from the ring. The demonstrative image displays a radio icon, a TV icon, a living room lights icon and icons for the curtain blinds. The smart ring will be able to turn on the TV, change the radio station, pull the automated blinds, adjust the lights in the living room, and all these actions will require a simple gesture or motion.
Samsung points out that the ring can be configured so that it controls electronic gadgets, such as the smart TV, and at the same time adjust smart home appliances, such as the blinds or lights. However, it may require a smartphone so you can see which functions of your automated home you tinker with, and which audio-video device you power up.
When you get display data on the screen of your smartphone, you gain access to a list of detailed functions of the electronic objects. This adds a more precise way to control the devices via your smart ring. Thanks to the precise function access, you may switch the TV channel, adjust the power of the lighting system or pull the blinds up when the sun enters the clouds.
Samsung touts that its team of software engineers is working towards providing users with a unique functionality when navigating social networks, such as Facebook.
Samsung is not the only one in the race in creating the smart ring that will rule them all. Big tech names, such as Apple, Microsoft and Google also pull their efforts towards manufacturing a smart ring. Rumors about the development of such wearable items circulated this year, and wearable tech enthusiasts were on their toes waiting to see the new gadgets.
Not only tech giants see the growing potential of wearable technology. Crowdfunding efforts proved to be highly successful in bringing smart rings to the market. Products such as Nod and Ring were funded by backers and delivered more or less what they promised.
According to a report from June 2014, Samsung developed the ring technology which could allow its smart ring to remotely control various devices, including smart TVs. The engineering is present in the company's smart watch patent, and it is safe to assume that it will make its way into the smart ring, as well.
The application for Samsung's smart ring reached the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in June 2015.
It remains to be seen how long it will take for the South Korean OEM to announce and deliver the final product into stores.