A Series of Patents in this report cover Wearable Loop devices, HomePod mini, Ultrasonic Proximity Sensors & a Drone Antenna System
In this Patently Apple report we cover a series of four Apple patents covering wearable loop devices, HomePod mini, ultrasonic sensors and a drone antenna system. Most of our patent report covers Apple's patent tilted "Wearable Loops with Embedded Circuitry. These Wearable Loops will be able to gather various information about a user such as biometrics, ID, Medical information while being an input device Apple's future mixed reality headset and more.
Apple notes that electronic devices may be worn on a user's body or may be attached to an object. For example, an electronic device may have a loop, band, or string-like shape that can be looped around, tied to, hung on, or otherwise attached to a person, animal, or object.
Electronic devices may be worn on a user's wrist or neck, may be looped through an object such as a key, pet collar, or suitcase, or may be otherwise attached to a person or object. Electronic devices that can be attached to a person, animal, or object, which are sometimes referred to as loop-shaped wearable electronic devices, string devices, or string-like electronic devices, may be used to gather information about the person or object that the electronic device is attached to (e.g., location information, activity information, identification information, medical or biometric information, etc.).
It may also be used to gather user input (e.g., touch input, force input, motion input, and/or voice input), may be used to provide a user with output (haptic output, audio output, and/or visual output), may be used to store identification information about the person or object that the string device is attached to, may be used to store messages for a user, may be used as an anchor or visual marker in an augmented reality or virtual reality system, and/or may be used for other functions.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 is a diagram of an illustrative system including a loop-shaped wearable electronic device; FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an illustrative loop-shaped wearable electronic device having a fabric cord and a housing unit; FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an illustrative loop-shaped wearable electronic device that has been inserted through an object such as a key; FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an illustrative loop-shaped wearable electronic device that has been hung on an object such as a door knob.
Apple's patent FIG. 9 below is a perspective view of an illustrative loop-shaped wearable electronic device that is worn around a user's neck; FIG. 10 is a perspective view of illustrative loop-shaped wearable electronic devices that are worn around a user's wrist; FIG. 29 is a perspective view of illustrative wrist-watch device displaying relative locations of nearby loop-shaped wearable electronic devices.
Today Apple updated this invention by adding 20 new patent claims. Some times new patent claims are there for the protection of the patent by highlighting features Apple specifically wants to protect.
In other cases, like today's patent, Apple has added new aspects to the invention such as adding "near-field communications circuitry that wasn't a part of the original patent. Apple also places emphasis on "Virtual Reality content" in their patent claims whereas it was barely a footnote in the original patent. Apple added Virtual Reality content in the following two claims:
Patent Claim #1: "A system, comprising: a first electronic device, comprising: a housing having a circular shape; a loop of material configured to couple the housing to an item; and an ultra-wideband transmitter in the housing configured to emit ultra-wideband signals; and a second electronic device configured to determine a location of the item based on the ultra-wideband signals, wherein the second electronic device comprises a display configured to display virtual reality content based on the location of the item.
Patent Claim #9: The system defined in claim 1 wherein the first electronic device serves as an anchor for the virtual reality content.
Apple also placed new emphasis on "non-visual output." The original patent covered it once while Apple makes special mention of this in five patent claims (#7, 14, 15, 18 and 19).
To review the full 20 added patent claims, check out Apple's continuation patent 20220069625. Considering that this is a continuation patent, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
Other new and Updated Patents of Interest
01: "Ultrasonic Proximity Sensors, and related System and Methods" (Related to AirPods. Apple has added 20 new patent claims).
02: The patent behind HomePod mini (Everything you want to know about it)
03: "Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Antenna Configurations." In October 2021 titled "An Apple Drone Patent published today describes Unmanned Arial Systems in Cellular Networks." Today, a new drone related patent was published today.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates, by way of example, a diagram of an aspect of a UAV with a configurable antenna array in an antenna module; FIG. 6 illustrates, by way of example, a diagram of systems for communication between a UAV #100 and a communications network.
Apple's patent application 20220069449 published today was acquired from Intel. The patent notes that the proposed antenna system "was installed on an Intel Aero drone."