Smart rings enabling gesture control could replace mouse functions in future as per a patent design filed by Microsoft. The kinect device could further be useful in detecting the presence of a user in front of a digital display, besides detecting gestures such as arm movements in front of the device.
The patent published by the US Patent & Trademark Office shows the technology will be particularly useful for wearable devices such as glasses, wrist bands, and watches that tend to have limited input options. The smart ring in this case will wirelessly transmit information related to the pose and/or movement of the finger to control the companion device.
The technology detailed in the patent will work using at least one flexion sensor or "bend sensor" secured to the smart ring. A companion device can be controlled when a distance is detected between at least one flexion sensor and a second segment of a user's finger. A user scratching his jeans in a given way to decline a phone call or the ring being used to control the tiny screen of a smartwatch without having to touch the display, are some of the examples Microsoft has cited to show how the functionality works.
We have already seen how the transition from keypad to touchscreen has shaped up to be a game changer so much so that keypad mobile devices have virtually disappeared. If the said technology is implemented successfully the computer mouse, currently wireless, could be replaced altogether.
We reported in 2015 that iPhone maker Apple has also filed a similar patent for a smart ring that could work as an add-on device for Apple TV, MacBook or Apple Watch. The Apple patent also sports a clever fitting function where it states the ring could automatically adjust its size to the wearer's finger.