Apple adds an Optical Sensor to its Optical Imaging System and more to its Haptic Feedback VR Gaming Gloves
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a continuation patent from Apple that relating to haptic feedback gloves that could work with VR games on a Mac or a VR headset – with the focus being on a Mac.
Patently Apple covered Apple's granted patent for this invention back on November 19, 2019 in a report titled "Apple Wins Patent for Haptic Feedback Gloves for VR Games that could be played on a Mac."
Today's patent is not a new invention application but rather a continuation patent wherein Apple is updating and/or adding specific technology, features and/or methods that they want to legally extend into their current granted patent. Any change and/or addition to this invention is restricted to Apple's patent claims.
So what has Apple added to their invention that was granted by the U.S. Patent Office in November?
By comparing the patent claims from the November granted patent to today's continuation patent we find the following additions:
- The haptic element is selected from the group of elements consisting of: a piezoelectric element, an electroactive substrate, a magnetic assembly, a linear resonance actuator, and a voice coil.
- The electrode is configured to provide electrical pulses that define a repeating waveform to the haptic element.
- A wearable electronic device configured to be worn by a user, the wearable electronic device comprising: a moveable portion; a haptic element on the moveable portion; at least one sensor configured to generate sensor data, wherein the haptic element is configured to move the moveable portion in response to the sensor data to generate haptic feedback to be perceived by the user.
- The wearable electronic device defined in claim 16 wherein the at least one sensor comprises a motion sensor that generates motion data in response to movement by the user, and wherein the haptic element is configured to move the moveable portion in response the generated motion data.
- The wearable electronic device defined in claim 16 wherein the at least one sensor is selected from the group of sensors consisting of: a capacitive sensor, an accelerometer, an optical sensor, a magnetic potentiometer, a gyroscope, a strain gauge, a camera, and an optical imaging system.
- The wearable electronic device defined in claim 16 wherein the moveable portion defines a cavity that receives an appendage of the user and wherein the haptic element is configured to move the moveable portion toward the appendage of the user in response to the sensor data.
- The wearable electronic device defined in claim 19 wherein the moveable portion is a first moveable portion, the wearable electronic device further comprising: a second moveable portion that defines the cavity, wherein the second moveable portion is configured to be moved independently of the first moveable portion in response to the sensor data.
Apple's patent FIG.1 above illustrates a perspective view of a system for generating haptic feedback. In some embodiments, the wearable haptic apparatus #110 can refer to gloves or mittens that can be worn around a user's hand. As described herein, haptic feedback can refer to actuating a haptic feedback element to selectively stimulate the nerves within a user's body part (e.g., fingers). Haptic feedback can simulate a sensation of touch feedback by applying force, vibrations, pulses, regular or irregular movements, or other motions that can be perceived by the user; FIGS. 2A-2B illustrates perspective views of a wearable haptic apparatus for generating haptic feedback.
Apple's continuation patent 20200012345 that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was originally filed back in Q3 2019. Considering that this is a continuation patent, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.