Earlier this month, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Samsung revealing their work on a new 'smart ring' accessory device that could be used to control certain functionality on future smartphones, tablets or any kind of smart TV. Samsung's smart ring could also be used in conjunction with a future home automation system.
In Samsung's patent FIG. 1 noted below we're able to see a smart ring system (ring #100 and a smartphone #110); FIGS. 4A, B & C illustrates a smart ring with embedded sensors.
In Samsung's patent FIG. 7C noted below we're able to see movement #700 of the ring when placed on the smartphone (or TV, tablet etc) displaying the first screen data. Although FIG. 7C illustrates an example in which the wearable device rotates in a counterclockwise direction, the portable terminal may recognize clockwise rotation and perform a set operation corresponding to the rotation.
In Samsung's patent FIG. 9C we're able to see that the smartphone is able to recognize the ring and instantly displays a menu which including icons corresponding to the functions set in the recognized ring and icons corresponding to at least one of the functions that are settable by the ring. The menu may include, for example, a TV icon (# 901), a radio icon (#903), a blinds icon (#905), and a living room lights icon (#907), and the smartphone may set the ring to control at least one of the TV, the radio, the blinds, and the living room lights, corresponding to an input.
Samsung further notes that if the ring is set to control the TV, the functions that are settable by the ring may include blinds and living room lights. That is, screen data that may be displayed on the smartphone may include a list of electronic devices the ring may currently control and a list of other electronic devices the ring may additionally control.
The screen data that may be displayed by smartphone may also include a list of detailed functions of the respective electronic devices. The detailed functions control the respective electronic devices in detail. For example, detailed functions may include channel change and volume control of the TV, ON-OFF control of the living room light, UP-DOWN control of the blinds, etc.
Samsung also notes that they're working to have their smart ring work with social media sites like Facebook to control functionality in a unique way.
At the moment, Microsoft, Google and even Apple have their engineers tinkering with a future smart ring and so the race is on as to who will be first to deliver a smart ring that could capture the imagination of consumers with cool features.
Technically speaking, Samsung has ring technology baked into their new smartwatch to control content of all kinds including TV. This technology was first covered in a patent report that we posted back in June 2014. Their watch ring could act as the foundation of a wearable smart ring.
To date, consumers have been rather slow in adopting smart wearable devices. Yet that could all change on a dime with the right killer apps that top tech companies are now seeking to develop.
Samsung filed their US patent application back in June. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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