Apple Granted a Patent for Next-Gen Realistic Avatar Generation using Machine Learning-based Blood Flow Tracking
Apple won 61 patents today covering a series of new HMD related inventions for flCOS displays & more, plus one for Ray Tracing

Apple wins a patent covering a Smart Ring that uses NFC and is able to act as a Vision Pro Controller with In-Air Gestures

1 cover granted Ring Patent IP report

Although Amazon killed off their smart ring back in 2020, Samsung, Microsoft and Google continue to work on a smart ring according to patent filings. Patently Apple covered Apple's first smart ring patent back in 2015. Since then we covered several other Apple patents on a smart ring that were quite elaborated (01 and 02, and others).

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple yet another smart ring related patent that covers near-field communications circuitry used to gather near-field communications tag information and act as a controller for Vision Pro.

Electronic System With Ring Device

Apple's granted patent relates to an electronic device such as a wearable ring device having a finger-ring housing that surrounds a finger-shaped opening. A ring device may have a coil. The coil may be formed from metal traces on a printed circuit having an elongated strip shape that wraps around the finger-shaped opening. Opposing ends of the printed circuit may be electrically connected so that the metal traces form a continuous spiral path for the coil with a desired number of turns.

The ring device may have near-field communications circuitry. The near-field communications circuitry may use the coil to transmit and/or receive any suitable near-field communications signals. For example, the near-field communications circuitry may use the coil to gather near-field communications tag information from a near-field communications tag, may use the coil to emulate a tag, and/or may otherwise support bidirectional operations (e.g., reading and/or writing operations). If desired, tag information may be gathered in response to user input such as a device tap or shake that is detected with an accelerometer or other sensor.

The ring device may have wireless communications circuitry that uses a non-near-field communications antenna to wirelessly transmit the tag information and/or other information to a companion device.

Consider, as an example, a scenario in which a user is walking through a building. The user views an item on a shelf that contains an NFC tag with information about the item.

The information associated with the identifier and/or other NFC tag information that is obtained by device 10B (Vision Pro may be presented to the user with the output devices of device 10B (iPhone, iPad, a Mac or Vision Pro) displaying this information in the form of a label, an image, or other visual content on a display in device 10B that can be viewed by the user, by presenting audio information using a speaker in device 10B, by playing video related to the tag, etc.).

Other types of near-field interactions may be performed using the ring (device 10A), if desired. For example, the ring may exchange information with peer devices using near-field communications (or other wireless communications such as Bluetooth® communications), may upload information to the internet over a wireless connection with a wireless access point, cellular telephone network, or other wireless network, etc.

Apple's patent FIG. 2 below is a circuit diagram of illustrative circuitry for a ring device; FIG. 3 is a front side view of device #10A.  As shown in FIG. 3, device the ring may include components #48 that are interconnected by signal paths #50 that may be formed on one or more printed and/or one or more other dielectric members that serve as substrates (e.g., members formed from polymer, glass, ceramic, etc.) that are shaped using three-dimensional printing (e.g., to form a three-dimensional substrate of the type sometimes referred to as a three-dimensional printed circuit board), molding, machining, and/or other fabrication techniques. The substrate for signal paths may, in some embodiments, be formed from portions of a dielectric housing for ring.

2 Apple ring patent figs

Apple's paten FIG. 10 above is a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative ring device. During operation, the ring (device #10A) may be used in sensing the environment surrounding the ring and/or may be used in gathering position information (e.g., information on the orientation, location, and/or motion of the ring).

For example, an inertial measurement unit or other position sensor may monitor the position of the ring. Magnetic sensing circuitry #42 and/or other sensors (e.g., optical sensors on the ring) may also be used in gathering information on the position of the ring. Position information that is sensed in the ring and other input gathered by sensors (e.g., button press input, touch sensor input, force sensor input, etc.) may be wirelessly transmitted to device #10B (Apple Vision Pro), to serve as control input.

If desired, device 10B (Vision Pro) may use cameras, magnetic sensing circuitry, and/or other sensors to track the position of the ring. Using sensing circuitry in the ring and/or sensing circuitry in device 10B (Vision Pro) in this way, a user may move the ring by pointing the ring and provide user input to the ring and the system to control device (Vision Pro)by positioning the ring appropriately (e.g., by moving the ring in an air gesture, by moving the ring while it's  being tracked in a virtual reality or mixed reality environment created in Vision Pro).

For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11829831

10.52FX - Granted Patent Bar


The comments to this entry are closed.