Samsung has been a fairly big player in IoT and other various smart endeavors since the movement hit it big not too long ago. This comes as no surprise, since Samsung has their hands in just about every tech industry from computers to smartphones and fridges to ships. From time to time, Samsung tends to lay down some pretty outlandish, but practical, patents. Things like foldable smartphones, for example, are regulars in their patent portfolio, though we’ve heard no whispers on most of these products since. Though it’s likely that Samsung does want to make these things, it’s just as likely that they’re simply laying down plans for the far future in order to keep other OEMs from “having the same idea”.
In their latest patent, they’ve outed a possible control method for all the home automation and smart appliances that are gaining popularity lately, plus perhaps a new way to interact with that most personal of objects, your smartphone. This comes in the form of a “smart ring”, a finger-worn apparatus that works with existing devices, likely via Bluetooth or NFC, to control various gadgets in your home. In the graphic above, it looks as though a user could control different parts of their home by using the ring with their smartphone. It’s assumed that various appliances and other smart objects could be controlled directly by the ring as well as through a user’s connected smartphone, but there was no confirmation of this.
Control seems to be done via gestures, hovering and moving the ring, or perhaps tapping it to the device, to control various things that the user can most likely assign. Locking the door at night with a twist of a finger, turning the speaker system up or down with a swirling gesture or even turning all the lights off before bed by swiping the ring down over your smartphone all look like distinct possibilities. Most likely, users will be able to control not only what appliances and devices are added to the control panel, but how they’re controlled. A favorite TV station could be navigated to with a heart gesture while controlling the TV, or the thermostat controlled with upward and downward flicks. The possibilities for this system are near infinite and incredibly exciting. Similar systems are sure to crop up, but Samsung has the official patent, meaning they get the final say on shaping this particular segment of IoT growth.