Apple invents a 'Transferrable Interface' for iDevices that could control public device interfaces like an ATM without touching Germ-Riddled buttons
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were all paranoid of touching door handles in city or apartment buildings, an elevator button, operating an ATM, pushing a button at a pedestrian crosswalk, pressing buttons on a vending machine all in fear of coming into contact with COVID or other harmful pathogens. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their work on a system that could adopt the interactive interfaces of devices like an elevator or door keypad via a new sensor system so as to operate devices virtually by pressing virtual buttons. For Apple, it's just another health-related invention to go along with others that they've delivered thus far such as an ECG reader, a Blood Oxygen reader, a Heart Health Notification system and more.
Apple's invention covers a portable electronic device (iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad) that could include a sensor that could detect the presence of an operable object near the portable electronic device. The processor could cause the display to depict an interface corresponding to the operable object like an elevator keypad. The wireless communication module in a future iDevice could emit a signal instructing the operable object to perform an action based, at least in part, on an input to the interface.
Further, the sensor could detect the presence of the operable object based at least in part on receiving a radio wave emitted by the operable object. The operable object can include a button. The interface can visually resemble the button and the input can include a touch input. The signal can inform the operable object of a presence of the user at the operable object.
In some examples, the identification information could include a unique operable device identifier. The second signal can further include a unique user identifier. The action could include a transaction. The operable device could include an input component communicatively coupled to the controller. The controller could cause the operable component to perform the action based at least in part on an input received by the input component.
The input component could include at least one of an analog input component or a digital input component. A number of input components could include combinations of analog and digital inputs used for operating a physical machine.
Example analog input components could include one or more physical and tactile input mechanisms such as buttons, switches, toggles, levers, or knobs.
Example digital input components could include touch-screens and other digital user interfaces. The first signal could include information relating to at least one of a size, an appearance, or a position of an input element of a user interface to be depicted by the portable electronic device.
The identification information could include at least one of information related to a type of the operable device or a location of the operable device. The communication module can include at least one of an Ultra-Wideband (UWB) module, a Bluetooth module, a Wi-Fi module, or a Near-Field Communication (NFC) module. The communication module can continuously transmits the first signal in some examples. The portable electronic device can include a smart watch, a smart phone, or a tablet computing device.
Below are Apple patent figures illustrating how a future iPhone will be able to control things like a city crosswalk by allowing a user to push the crosswalk device's button virtually on their iPhone or operate an ATM machine and virtually push the button to call-up an elevator.
Below are more examples where a future iPhone till take on the interface of an office door security system or allow a nurse or doctor control medical devices without touching the physical controls of a device.
For more details, review Apple's patent application number 20220291726. This is certainly a long-range health related project that iDevice users will one day certainly appreciate.
James Foster: Industrial Design
Nico Scapel: Designer, Human Interface working on AR/VR features
I was unable to find LinkedIn profiles for Durrell Bishop and Emma Clark from Great Briton.