back to article Apple files patent for long-rumoured iRing-type bling

The long-rumoured iRing might not be a myth after all. Apple has just applied for a patent on "Devices and Methods for a Ring Computing Device". The iRing does for the Apple Watch what the Apple Watch does for the iPhone. The next step must be smart earrings, which were a 2000 vision from Orange. Image from iring Apple patent …

  1. msknight


    Ring Zero -

    "Ring ZERO is a wearable input device that allows the user to control smartphones, home appliances, and more simply by gesturing. Actions include: Playing music, Sending tweets, Taking photos, Turning TV, lights, A/C, and other home appliances on/off (requires a hub) Simply pair the Ring with your smartphone and start gesturing! Actions can be executed whether your smartphone is in your pocket, bag, or out of sight (as far away as 15 meters). Compatible with iOS 8 or higher and Android 4.4 or higher Battery life: 12 hours in active mode, 3 days in eco mode Charge time: 2 hours Connection: Bluetooth Smart FCC certified "

    1. Big_Boomer Silver badge

      Re: Errr...

      Ahh but the iRing will have a screen and rounded corners.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Errr...

        And only come in one size, namely one that would of exactly fitted one of Steve Job's fingers - because why would you want it in any other size?

    2. Slacker@work

      Re: Errr...

      Apple have thought of it earlier, whatever it might be, and regardless of the date of posting the patent application.


      Apple legal division.

      1. msknight

        Re: Errr...

        And apparently...

        It appears that Apple have a duty to disclose to the USPTO any prior art, if this article is correct ...

        Have they? ;-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Errr...

      "Errr.... Ring Zero"

      Presumably Apple's wouldn't look shit or be the size of a ring donut hanging off your index finger though?? Or one would hope. Jeez that looks terrible!

  2. James Micallef Silver badge

    What not How?

    Surely the exact purpose of a patent is to describe HOW things are going to work, not WHAT they do? As described by the article, the patent says this ring does all sorts of stuff without saying how it will achieve that.

    Well, since apparently this patent got accepted, I'd better get started on my patents for a portable fusion reactor, hyperspace drive, space elevator and robot butler

    1. MrWibble

      Re: What not How?

      Screw that, the more important question is "why?"

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

      Re: What not How?

      Wot about my flying car?

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: What not How?

      Actually, the exact purpose of a patent is to describe HOW my particular thing works.

      "going to work" implies "my thing" is still an idea and idea's aren't supposed to be patentable; but it would seem that small detail doesn't bother the USPTO who will happily let the courts decide on that.

      Which given that Apple haven't showcased their iRing prototype and is happy to talk about WHAT it could do with out any HOW would seem to imply it is still firmly in the idea's category.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: What not How?

        It is much easier for a patent examiner to approve a patent (also +1 on the productivity counter, right now) than to deny it and put it in limbo for more or less endless revision and resubmission (and no "production" despite significant expenditure of time). I think that lies at the bottom of a good many rubbish patents.

        Regrettable that I can upvote this only once.

    4. eswan

      Re: What not How?

      >I'd better get started on my patents for a portable fusion reactor, hyperspace drive, space elevator and robot butler

      Too late.

    5. Annihilator
      Thumb Up

      Re: What not How?

      Karl Pilkington: "I've come up with an idea, of a watch that tells you when you're gonna die"

      Ricky Gervais: "Hang on, how would that work?"

      KP: "Well, you'd just wear it on your wrist"

    6. Gobhicks

      Re: What not How?

      This is a published patent application, not a granted patent.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think ring piece would be a better description.

  4. Rumournz

    "First dibs on calling integrated camera the iOfSauron"

    and the reg wonders why it doesn't get invited to the church of sci.. err apple events

    1. big_D Silver badge

      But that has to be the sub head of the week!

      It had our office in stitches.

  5. big_D Silver badge

    The One Ring

    But who gets the One* Ring, Tim or Johnny?

    * Serial number 1.

  6. gazzton

    Check the application filing date

    The patent application was filed on April 1st 2015 with a related patent filed April 1st 2014.

    It's a joke. Or at least I hope it is.

    1. Naselus

      Re: Check the application filing date

      "It's a joke. Or at least I hope it is."

      That's never stopped the USPA giving out a patent anyway. Or Apple from suing someone over it, either.

  7. muttley


    Profanisaurus awaits you

  8. Anonymous Coward

    One iRing to rule them all...

    One iRing to rule them all, One iRing to find them, One iRing to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

  9. dogged


    That's not a word, is it?

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: therethrough

      Unless you're a fruity lawyer, apparently.

    2. frank ly

      Re: therethrough

      We have: therein, thereby, thereunder, .. etc, so why not therethrough? Anyway, it's in the OED, therefore it's 'official'.

  10. Sir Sham Cad

    Annular Member


    Yes, I imagine that's exactly what I'd look like wearing one.

  11. Frederic Bloggs

    Annular Member?

    Not certain about the "annular member" either. Apart from the obvious I can't quite see how one can call a ring (apparently with stuff attached to it) a member, annular or otherwise.

    1. Felonmarmer

      Re: Annular Member?

      I thought they were referring to an iPrinceAlbert.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's going to be called The Apple Ring Piece on launch.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Will they make an Apple Ring Silver Edition of it?

  13. Bota

    Must be worn on middle finger

    Which will automatically engage "salute-mode" whenever in the presence of Android users, or those who may be talking negatively about the cult of Apple.

  14. Captain Queeg


    Perverse as it may seem, I'm not up for a watch and I'm even less up for a Ring.

    There's a level of personal intrusion i'm prepared to accept and these are way beyond it.

  15. DBarber

    Just One More Thing

    There is one thing that I would want from an iRing -- more likely to be called an Apple Ring -- and that is that I could touch the side of any computer display (including phone and pay terminals) and it would securely validate me into any site without me needing me to type in a password otherwise. And it would deauthorize immediately if removed so that it couldn't be stolen and used.

    Even better if it could sense my DNA and automatically authenticate itself to start with each time I put it on.

    I think of the lost years of my life spent typing in secure passwords otherwise.

  16. Darryl

    "reading instead like a laundry list of things which might be incorporated so that Cupertino can cover as many bases as possible."

    You forgot to add "in the inevitable lawsuits to follow anyone else on the planet making a usable ring-style device."

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I someone uses the patent will they get ring sting from Apple?

  18. Chris G

    Prior art

    In a similar vein to the iWatch this is something that is already well accepted in China and the Far East; . Fortunately for Apple the Far East doesn't count as the real world 'cos it's furrin so they can have all the patents they want and then sue the world.

    In some ways a ring makes more sense than a big battery sucking watch but I can't say I would be interested in either.

    I hope they make a good range of sizes; I would be a terrible thing for a fanboi to get his finger stuck in a tight ring.

  19. Grikath


    Next to the Glassholes we now also get Cockrings?

  20. Nanners


    My wife was just discussing this the other day. Nobody wants the watch because it's overkill that's tethered, but she says what really makes it useful is the fact it tells you when you have a call, because ladies wear thier phones in thier purse and miss calls. She said they need a ring that tells you one thing... Your phone ( in your purse ) has a call. Call it the apple "ring". Of course we didn't patent it...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's for your finger, right?

  22. YARR

    Do they charge by the sentence for filing patents in America?

  23. Alister

    an annular member defining an aperture therethrough that is sized for receipt therein of a first finger of a user

    Wow... That's a great description.

    Not sure it's patentable though, I seem to recall seeing something similar before...

  24. TeeCee Gold badge

    .....sized for receipt therein of a first finger of a user...

    Well that's no bloody good. Their target market will all want to have their tongues in Apple's usual.

  25. Zmodem

    lie detector and cheating spouse reporter

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I actually think it's quite a neat idea. Not too big, not too expensive (hopefully), and an interesting way to interact with your phone.

    The application actually, unusually for Apple, seems to be quite well written.

    Of course, the question would be, just how tight to you have to do your smartwatch strap before you're infringing...?

  27. CaptainBanjax

    If you cant..

    Get a load of these rings and get together with your mates to summon Captain Planet...I dont want one.

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