The rumored ring that Apple is working on could inherit the U1 chip from the iPhone 11 Pro.
According to a patent discovered by AppleInsider, the U1 chip would allow the ring to recognize when it is very close to another compatible product and could even detect when the user points to it and start interaction between the two. The patent textually describes “signal detection”.
The patent mentions that a ring would be a good method of interaction between the user who wears it and their device. The patent, according to AppleInsider, suggests using the ring to use it as a controller for other devices so you don’t have to touch a screen or keyboard.
The patent mentions that the ring on the finger would be a method of interaction even with a Mac, giving force to Apple’s alleged intentions not to launch a touchscreen Mac due to the ergonomic problems it represents. The patent also mentions using the ring to control objects in the smart home and even using it to interact with a car.
The U1 chip was revealed by Apple in 2019 and is present only in the iPhone 11 family. Not even the 2020 iPad Pro includes it. The U1 is made for “spatial awareness,” according to Apple, and helps iPhones find other iPhones more accurately when they’re very close to each other, for example, in a room. Apple allows this feature of the U1 to be disabled.