Over the years Apple has filed a few patent applications covering wrist movements and in-air gestures designed to control specific functionality on the Apple Watch (01, 02 and 03). Today the US Patent & Trademark Office granted Apple a patent that adds wrist movements that could one day control more Apple Watch functionality. With Apple Watch being the number watch in the world today, every advancement Apple makes raises the bar that competitors will have to match in order to compete with Apple Watch.
Apple's granted patent covers techniques for interacting with a future version of Apple Watch. Some existing techniques use a complex and time-consuming user interface, which can include multiple button presses or finger touches. Moreover, existing techniques require more time than necessary, wasting user time and device energy.
Apple's granted patent provides a future version of Apple Watch with faster, more efficient methods and interfaces for interacting with the devices without touching display screens or other physical input mechanisms.
Such methods and interfaces optionally complement or replace other methods for interacting with the devices. Such methods and interfaces reduce the cognitive burden on a user and produce a more efficient human-machine interface.
Apple reveals the use of advanced tilt sensors and specialty biological sensors at the bottom of Apple Watch which can detect muscle movements like clenching a fist to trigger the watch to perform a particular task.
As shown in the patent figure cluster below, answering a phone call is determined by the level of clench power you assert when forming a fist. A firm clench will answer your call, but not before the progress ring is fully formed. You must keep you clenched fist in place until the ring is finished forming. FIG. 9E shows the ring forming around the accept button. When the ring is completed then the call is accepted.
Apple's patent FIGS. 8A, B and C below illustrate exemplary user interfaces for interacting with an electronic device without touching a display screen or other physical input mechanism.
In patent figures above, you can see how a simple choice like whether to reply or dismiss an incoming message request would be handy to simply tilt your wrist up or down to respond.
There are over 100 patent figures illustrating various applications that you could review here. Apple's granted patent 10,558,278 was originally filed in Q1 2019 and relies on a patent filing made in January 2019 that we covered in a patent application report.