Apple Wins Patent for Advanced VR Glove that could be used in Gaming, Education and Military Training
On the last granted patent day of 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent for a VR glove that is IMU-based. Apple's VR glove is capable of measuring the movement of individual finger and thumb bones. The VR gloves, made with smart fabric technology could be used in many applications including games, education and military training.
According to Apple's granted patent, VR/AR/MR technology can be simulated using one or more electronic devices. One electronic device can be a VR headset, where the user can use the VR headset to see the simulated virtual environment. As the user moves their head to look around, a display included in the headset can update to reflect the user's head movement. Another electronic device can include one or more cameras. The one or more cameras can be used to capture the user's real environment in AR technology and/or can be used for positional tracking. Yet another electronic device can include VR gloves. VR gloves can be worn over the user's hands and can allow the user to touch, feel, and hold virtual objects in real-time. VR gloves capable of accurately detecting the positions and motions of the user's hands and fingers without occlusion may be desired.
The IMUs can include one or more motion sensors, such as a gyroscope and an accelerometer, for measuring the orientation, position, and velocity of objects (e.g., finger bones) that the IMU can be attached. An IMU can be located proximate to a finger (or thumb) bone and can measure the inertial motion of the corresponding bone.
In some examples, the VR glove may include magnetometers to determine the direction of the geo-magnetic field. The VR glove can also include one or more other electronic components, such as a plurality of electrodes for sensing the heading, enabling capacitive touch, and/or contact sensing between finger tips.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates an exemplary model of a human hand; FIG. 2 illustrates a back view of an exemplary VR glove.
Apple's patent FIG. 4B below illustrates an exemplary hand reference; FIG. 4C illustrates exemplary local frames for a plurality of fingers and a thumb included in a hand reference.
Lastly, Apple notes that the VR glove can be a knitted or woven glove where one or more (e.g., all) electronics components can be integrated into the fabric of the glove.
In some examples, glove can include a fabric with multiple sections having a different number of layers.
For more details you could review our original patent application report or review Apple's granted patent 10,877,557.