Microsoft patents a smart ring that could replace the conventional computer mouse

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read

Microsoft has filed a patent application in November and December 2015 for a smart ring, but it took U.S. Patent & Trademark Office over four months to publish it. This is good news for Microsoft because the company would like for the idea to take hold and serve as a virtual mouse for devices such as watches, wristbands, and glasses, all which have limited input options.

With this Smart Ring, users will be able to move their finger to control a companion device by wirelessly transmitting information. How will it work? The smart ring will have at least one flexion sensor (“bend sensor”) and when the distance between one flexion sensor and another segment of the user’s finger is detected, a gesture will be interpreted and applied to control the companion device. For example, if you scratch your jeans in a specific way, you will be able to decline a phone call or you will control the screen of your smartwatch without touching it.

Smart Ring mobile device controller, Microsoft’s invention to be used as a Virtual Mouse 2

If Microsoft can make it possible for a user to wear multiple rings on his/her hand to control a virtual mouse that performs right or left clicks or even more, then it might have a hit. This killer feature will surely be appreciated by HoloLens owners who will be able to easily control this augmented reality headset.

Back in 2015, Apple has filed a similar patent, but the smart ring would be used as an add-on device only for Apple Watch, MacBook, and Apple TV. What’s special about this ring is that its size will be automatically adjusted, depending on wearer’s finger and presumably have more versatility than something Apple would make.

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