Apple wins patent for a 'Wearable Loops' device that tracks users, gathers biometric, medical info + gathers inputs such as voice & motion
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to a next-gen wearable devices described as 'Wearable Loops' that could gather various information about a user such as biometrics, ID, Medical information while being an input device for voice, touch and more.
With the Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson having recently joined Apple's board with experience in medical devices, it's interesting timing for this granted patent which shows that Apple is looking to expand their footprint in medical devices beyond Apple Watch.
Electronic devices may be worn on a user's body or may be attached to an object. For example, an electronic device may have a loop, band, or string-like shape that can be looped around, tied to, hung on, or otherwise attached to a person, animal, or object.
Electronic devices may be worn on a user's wrist or neck, may be looped through an object such as a key, pet collar, or suitcase, or may be otherwise attached to a person or object. Electronic devices that can be attached to a person, animal, or object, which are sometimes referred to as loop-shaped wearable electronic devices, string devices, or string-like electronic devices, may be used to gather information about the person or object that the electronic device is attached to (e.g., location information, activity information, identification information, medical or biometric information, etc.).
It may also be used to gather user input (e.g., touch input, force input, motion input, and/or voice input), may be used to provide a user with output (haptic output, audio output, and/or visual output), may be used to store identification information about the person or object that the string device is attached to, may be used to store messages for a user, may be used as an anchor or visual marker in an augmented reality or virtual reality system, and/or may be used for other functions.
An electronic device such as a loop-shaped wearable electronic device may have a fabric cord and a housing unit. The housing unit may contain circuitry such as a visual output region, sensors, communications circuitry, and wireless power receiving circuitry.
The visual output region may include a status indicator or a display. The wearable electronic device may include haptic output devices for providing haptic output for a user or for changing the shape of the fabric cord.
More specifically, during operation, light sources (#16 of FIG. 1 below) of light output region may be used to provide a user of the wearable loops device with visual output such as alerts (e.g., timer alerts, incoming message alerts, etc.), emojis, messages, text, graphics, images, moving images, flashing lights or lights of particular colors or patterns of colors that serve as status indicators (e.g., power level indicators, wireless signal strength indicators, heart beats per minute readouts, an ultraviolet light exposure indicator, etc.), and/or other suitable visual output. If desired, images, messages, or status information on light output region may be displayed at a predetermined time.
The haptic output devices may include piezoelectric fibers that form part of the fabric cord or may include magnetic structures. The haptic output devices may cause the fabric cord to change from a furled shape to an unfurled shape. The fabric may include one or more conductive strands that form a coil. The coil may be used to receive wireless power signals from a wireless power transmitter.
The wearable electronic device may be stored in a charging case that includes wireless power transmitting circuitry for powering the wearable electronic device. Control circuitry in the charging case may change an opacity of the charging case based on a charging status of the wearable electronic device.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 is a diagram of an illustrative system including a loop-shaped wearable electronic device; FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an illustrative loop-shaped wearable electronic device having a fabric cord and a housing unit; FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an illustrative loop-shaped wearable electronic device that has been inserted through an object such as a key; FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an illustrative loop-shaped wearable electronic device that has been hung on an object such as a door knob.
Apple's patent FIG. 9 below is a perspective view of an illustrative loop-shaped wearable electronic device that is worn around a user's neck; FIG. 10 is a perspective view of illustrative loop-shaped wearable electronic devices that are worn around a user's wrist; FIG. 29 is a perspective view of illustrative wrist-watch device displaying relative locations of nearby loop-shaped wearable electronic devices.
Apple's patent FIG. 30 above is a perspective view of an illustrative electronic device (an iPhone) displaying locations and orientations of nearby loop-shaped wearable electronic devices; FIG. 31 is a diagram of an illustrative system including a loop-shaped wearable electronic device with markers that are tracked using a camera in an external electronic device.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11,177,693.