Apple continues to refine Hand Tracking for a Future Mixed Reality Headset so that a user could use In-Air Gesturing Commands
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a continuation patent from Apple that relates to 3D modeling images of a user's fingers to be used to gesture recognition when wearing a mixed reality headset.
Apple's patent in-part describes generating a 3D model of fingers that could be used for touching virtual objects and for in-air gesturing for the headset to understand commands.
Apple notes in patent point #31 that "a user may spin a finger in front of a camera in order interact with a physical environment or to sign into an account" and so forth.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 presents a flow chart of an example technique for utilizing a 3D model of a fingertip for gesture recognition; FIG. 5 shows an example system diagram illustrating a system setup for generating a 3D model of a fingertip.
Considering that this is a continuation patent, what's key is that Apple has added 20 new patent claims. Three of the new claims, #2, #9 and #16, describe the use of "hand tracking" not found in the original patent claims.
Further to FIG. 4, The hand model may include 3D models of a hand corresponding to various poses of the hand. The flowchart continues at #410, and the electronic device 100 (iPhone) updates the 3D model of the hand based on the first and second image. For example, a depth image may be obtained from a perspective such that a touch point between the touching object and the surface is occluded by the touching object (e.g., the fingertip touching a surface may be occluded by the hand from the point of view of the user).
Apple was granted this patent in April 2021. Considering the patent published by the U.S. Patent Office today for this invention is a continuation patent filed by Apple, what's key is that Apple has added 20 new patent claims. Three of the new claims, #2, #9 and #16, describe the use of "hand tracking" not found in the original patent claims.
To review the 20 added patent claims in full, check out Apple's continuation patent 20210209840.
Summer - COVID-19 Slow Down
Between COVID-19 and it being summer holiday time, new patent applications are far and few between. The majority of the patents published by the U.S. Patent Office for Apple today have been continuation patents (patent updates). Below you'll find an additional three continuation patents that my interest some. Keep in mind that what's new in all cases, are the patent claims.
01: Structured Fabrics for Electronic Devices – relating to fabric used on Apple Watch bands, Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker etc. Apple was first granted this patent in 2018.
02: Wearable Electronic Device with Electrodes for Sensing Biological Parameters." The display may depict an ECG waveform of a person who is wearing an Apple Watch. The user touching the Crown can initiate an ECG analysis. Apple was first granted this patent in April 2020.
03: Eartips for Coupling Via Wireform Attachment Mechanisms.