Apple has been granted a patent for an Apple Watch with Optical Sensing that further supports AssistiveTouch
In 2021, Apple introduced AssistiveTouch for Apple watchOS 8. AssistiveTouch for watchOS enables people with upper-body limb differences to use Apple Watch without ever having to touch the display or controls. Using built-in motion sensors and on-device learning, Apple Watch detects subtle differences in muscle movements and tendon activity, letting you control the display through hand gestures like a pinch or a clench.
In May 2021, Patently Apple covered Apple's initial patent covering this technology, with one of the patent figure sets presented below.
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a second patent that relates to AssistiveTouch wrist-gesture technology.
Apple's invention relates to Apple Watch with its optical sensor being used to recognize gestures made by a user of the watch. In one example, one or more light sources can be positioned on the back or skin-facing side of Apple Watch, a wristband, an armband, a leg-band, a chest-band, a headband, or the like.
The optical sensor can be positioned near the one or more light sources on the same side of the wearable device. During operation, light can be emitted from the one or more light sources and sensed using the optical sensor. Changes in the sensed light caused by movements of the user wearing the device can be used to recognize user gestures.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates an exemplary wearable device near a user's skin; FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary wearable device separated a distance from a user's skin; FIG. 4 illustrates an open hand of a user wearing an exemplary wearable device and FIG. 5 illustrates a clenched first of a user wearing an exemplary wearable device.
Apple's patent FIG. 10 above illustrates an exemplary process for recognizing gestures using an optical sensor and performing functions corresponding to the recognized gestures.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11,422,635.