Apple won 37 Patents today covering Two Force Touch inventions relating to both VR Gloves and Future Devices
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 37 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. In this particular report we briefly cover two force touch inventions relating to both VR gloves and future devices including a new patient device. And as always, we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Ultrasonic Force Touch based VR Gloves
Apple's granted patent relates to an ultrasonic force detection system and methods based on propagation of ultrasonic waves in a user's body (e.g., in a user's digit/finger). This is the first time that ultrasonic force detection has been used in connection with Apple's VR glove project.
Apple states that an amount of force can be determined using time-of-flight (TOF) techniques of one or more ultrasonic waves propagating in the user's body.
In some examples, an electronic device including a transducer (e.g., a piezoelectric transducer) can be coupled to a digit (e.g., a finger), and can transmit ultrasonic waves into the finger. As the wave propagates through the thickness of the finger, a reflection of at least a portion of the transmitted wave can occur due to the bone and/or due to reaching the opposite side of the finger (e.g., finger pad).
Apple's patent FIG. 1A below illustrates an exemplary model of a human hand; FIG. 1B illustrates an exemplary system with an ultrasonic force detection system for detecting an applied force between a finger and a surface; and FIGS. 6B illustrates an example of a finger with an applied force of zero and with a non-zero applied force. Time-of-flight (or changes in the time of flight) can be used to detect applied force.
For more details, review Apple’s granted patent 11,397,486.
Interface pressure sensor system for electronic device
Another granted patent issued today focuses on next-gen force touch technology. Apple points to their new technology applying to Apple Watch and smart-bands, a new wrist-band device for "patients," headphones, AirPods, smart cuffs, smart glasses), personal medical devices (e.g., at-home health monitors, wearable medical devices, sleep tracking devices, activity tracking devices, sport devices and more.
In Apple's patent FIG. 1E below we're able to see an Apple Watch which Apple – though the patent later references and illustrates a "wearable health monitor" for "patients."
Wrist-Worn Device for "Patients"
In a secondary example, Apple references a wrist-worn device for "patients" that could be used for detecting blood pressure and more. In this example, having a linear sensitivity of 48 mm dramatically improves the likelihood that at least one pressure sensor module will be aligned over a patient's radial artery.
As a result of reliable alignment of at least one pressure sensor module, the wrist-worn device 510 can be configured to reliably obtain one or more health parameters from the user/wearer/patient, such as blood pressure, heart rate, augmentation index, pulse wave velocity, pulse transit time, and so on.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 depicts a system diagram of an example electronic device including an interface pressure sensor system; FIG. 5B depicts a wearable electronic device incorporating the interface pressure sensor system.
For more on this, review Apple’s granted patent 11,397,120
Today’s Remaining Granted Patents