Wrist Instrument with Interchangeable Rotating Ring
Publication Date: 2004-Apr-27
The IP.com Prior Art Database
A "plug-and-play" concept for a timepiece. A replaceable ring or module, which can be mounted or coupled to the timepiece, contains unique programs and/or expanding feature-sets. Combining this idea with state of the art ring set designs (see U.S. Patent No. 5,742,565) further advances user interfaces and the state-of-the-art. The idea comprises either an upper/lower ring assembly or single fixed ring. In the case of the two ring embodiment, the lower ring has ROM, RAM, sensors, and/or a microcontroller. The IC's and/or sensors are mounted to an embedded pcb which has electrical contacts, or 'bumps' on one side. These contacts are exposed on the lower surface of the ring. The number of 'bumps' will vary depending on the number of embedded components and whether the communication link is serial or parallel. The upper ring assembles to the lower ring but remains free to rotate. By mechanical linkage the upper ring contacts the crown switch assembly. By rotating the upper ring the user can change watch modes, set time, activate chrono, or scroll through data. Alternatively, the ring containing the electronics would be snapped into place.