Microsoft could be expanding its wearable tech product line-up with a smart ring that will interact with the HoloLens augmented reality headset.
The company has patented a smart ring that will help HoloLens users have more natural user interface (NUI) control, while the wearable could also be used with other products such as tablets.
In the patent filing, there are descriptions of a product that sports myriad sensors, such as a new infra-red sensor that would read the position of the finger, allowing for finer movements.
A small wearable device could help devices like HoloLens and Kinect read more nuanced movements and give users the ability to make more detailing navigational movements.
At the moment those devices can read movements that are more general gestures, such as an arm moving, or a head movement. However, a subtle movement such as from a single digit is much harder as the depth sensor may not puck up stroke inputs, especially if the gesture is too close or too far away from the digital display device.
“The present concepts relate to a smart ring that can allow a user to use his/her finger to control a companion device. Implementations relate to a smart ring (e.g., smart ring device, wearable ring device, finger- worn device) worn on a user's finger. The ring can detect a pose of the finger (e.g., finger pose, position). In some cases, the smart ring can also define a coordinate system relative to the finger, and detect the finger pose relative to one or more axes of the coordinate system.
The smart ring can also detect and/or interpret movement of the finger and/or fingertip (e.g., change in finger pose) relative to the coordinate system. The smart ring can wirelessly transmit information related to the pose and/or movement of the finger to control the companion device.”
Microsoft's smart ring would be able to use a gyroscope sensor to detect smaller fingertip motions and relay the information to the digital display device, giving the display a functionality similar to a touch screen (but without the touch).
This is the secoond ring that Microsoft has patented recently. The company previously filed a ring that was pressure sensitive.
SOURCE: Patent Scope