Apple has applied for a patent for “Devices and Methods for a Ring Computing Device.” That’s right; an iRing, a touchscreen device that you can wear on your finger, complete with a battery and the ability to communicate with other iDevices. It might also have a camera and a biometric sensor for Apple Pay.
There are other, less ambitious, electronic rings out there. Mota Doi SmartRing went into production in September with its SmartRing, now available on the company’s website. The SmartRing give you access to apps and info, including “Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, meeting notifications, or text messages.” Omate and Ungaro have a notification ring, and Ringly has long had a fashionable, cocktail-size ring that passes along calls and notifications to the wearer.
Apple’s is not a design patent, so the drawings that accompany the document are not—mercifully—the final word on how the ring will look. In this earliest iteration, the ring looks like something a bouncer or a mafia don might wear.
Even so, reading email off a screen about the size of a large postage stamp will be some feat, especially for those of us with less than 20/20 vision—or smaller fingers. Maybe it will come with magnifying glass, like the 3-volume Oxford English Dictionary.