Having moved from computers, to music players, to phones and, most recently, watches, Apple now looks set to develop the ultimate in remote controls – the iRing.
The company applied for a patent for a “smart-ring” design last year which was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office this week.
The patent describes a device that can be used to control the a TV, or perhaps to turn on the central heating, without the user having to move from the sofa.
The rechargeable ring is intended to work wirelessly in conjunction with a host of other devices, whether a smartphone, light dimmer switch, or dishwasher.
Its designers expect it to be worn on the index finger and feature a tiny touch screen.
Apple’s iRing is, as yet, still on the drawing board but the company believes it will be able to incorporate a computer processor, touchscreen, and voice recognition technology.
It even raises the possibility of taking the first steps to creating the self-writing pen imagined by JK Rowling in Harry Potter. The iRing, its designers hope, will be able to follow the movement of the hand to determine what the user is writing – and able to replicate it.
In the patent registered in the US Apple said: “The ring computing device can be carried unobtrusively for periods of time by the user and used when the user requires.”