CES 2014: iRing motion controller for iOS announced

Music technology firm IK Multimedia has announced the launch of a motion controller device that can be used to control music apps on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

The iRing works using the existing camera on the Apple device to detect movement of two separate double-sided tracking controllers that fit between the fingers of each hand.

"On one side is an engraved linear pattern of three dots, on the other is an engraved triangular pattern of dots," IK Multimedia said on its website. "iRing uses the front-facing camera on your device and advanced volumetric positioning algorithms to recognize and determine the exact physical location of the ring in relation to the device camera."

This means users can use the device to control parameters within apps, such as audio effects. Rather than simply an XY grid that is currently used to control parameters, the iRing potentially allows three-dimensional control of, for example, delay time and feedback.

Rumours about an iRing have been around since last year, when reports of an Apple TV set – or iTV – emerged. It was thought that the television set could include a wearable device that would act as a "navigation pointer", enhancing motion detection and negating some functionality of a handheld remote.

IK Multimedia has stated its intent to extend the use of the iRing beyond just music apps, calling for developers to take advantage of the new technology.

"iRing technology can easily be utilized beyond music apps, so we encourage game, health & fitness, utility and other app developers to contact us to take advantage of the technology and improve the functionality and control of apps with iRing," the company said.