Apple Revisits and Advances their Invention Relating to Controlled Gyroscope Torque for Gaming & Beyond
Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that generally relates to electronic devices, and more particularly to advancing gyroscopes in electronic devices. Still more particularly, the present invention relates to generating controlled gyroscopic torque in an electronic device that is used in gaming and in free fall orientation. Apple first introduced the basics of this technology prior to the release of their original 2010 iPad.
Apple's Invention: Controlled Gyroscopic Torque
Apple first introduced their gyroscopic torque invention prior to the iPad ever surfacing. We presented Apple's invention/concept in our January 2010 report titled "Apple: The Tablet Prophecies," one week prior to Steve Jobs taking the stage to introduce the iPad. The first compilation of patent figures that are presented below stemmed from that original patent. Apple's current patent application also includes a similar graphic.
Apple has revisited this invention in their new patent application 20160018223 which was filed in July 2015 and published today by USPTO. Apple notes that in some embodiments, the characteristic of the gyroscopic torque to be transmitted to the mobile electronic device is based on the characteristics of the torque feedback to be provided to a user. For example, if a user is interacting with a driving game, the torque feedback to be provided to the user may include a "turning" feedback intended to mimic or suggest the effect of a vehicle's steering wheel resisting a turn. In this case, the characteristic of the gyroscopic torque may be determined so as to produce the desired "turning" feedback to the user.
Emergency Free Fall Orientation
In some embodiments, the characteristic of the gyroscopic torque to be transmitted to the mobile electronic device is selected so as to reorient the mobile device during the free fall. For example, if a device is oriented during free fall such that it will likely fall directly onto its display, the characteristic of the gyroscopic torque may be selected so that the device will instead impact (or be more likely to impact) on its edge, side, or in any other orientation that is less likely to result in damage to the device.
In some embodiments, the characteristic of the gyroscopic torque to be transmitted to the mobile electronic device is based on the determined spatial condition of the mobile electronic device (e.g., the Euler angles of the device, the angular velocity of the device, etc.) and a target orientation. For example, a target orientation may be an orientation in which the device is less likely to suffer damage as a result of an impact, and/or an orientation in which resulting damage is cheaper to repair/replace than other orientations. Accordingly, a characteristic of gyroscopic torque (e.g., a magnitude, direction, duration of application, etc.) that will cause the device to move from the determined spatial condition toward the target orientation is determined.
To review Apple's invention in more detail, see Apple's patent application 20150331508.
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