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Apple Watch new patent published:gesture control +one-handed operation

ByJoe Horner 2019-07-23 606

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Patently Apple released a report entitled "Apple will push wrist gestures and cameras on the Apple Watch." The picture on the cover comes from that patent application. This week, the U. S. Patent Office announced Apple's patent application. Many applications are based on a renewed patent, according to the document. The invention, submitted in March 2019, lists 9 Apple engineers. The 2016 patent application listed only one Apple engineer.

Apple Watch new patent


Apple's Erik de Jong name is listed on the patent, making the invention a serious project because Erik has long been considered Apple Watch's product design director. According to his profile, he is "leading a team of design engineers to build the next generation of Apple Watch." He later added that his team was working to "develop future product concepts and features".

Three series demonstrate typical movements of fingers and wrists

Apple's inventions typically involve the Apple Watch detecting user movements and gesture inputs and providing commands to the device or other devices. In particular, Apple Watch can use one or more sensors to determine the user's motion and gesture input based on the movement of the user's hands, arms, wrists, and fingers.


For example, one or more optical sensors, inertial sensors, mechanical contact sensors, and EMG sensors can detect the body motion of a user. According to the detected action, the gesture of the user can be determined. The device can interpret gestures as input commands and can perform operations according to the input commands.


By detecting the action of the user's body and associating the action with the input command, the device can receive the user input command in a manner other than voice and touch input.


Apple's patent figure 9A shows typical gestures and corresponding commands; figure 9D-9E demonstrates the movement of hands and wrists; and figure 9F-9H demonstrates finger movements associated with sign language.

Apple Watch new patent

With regard to Patent figure 9H, Apple noted that "in some cases, detecting gesture language may include detecting the movement of the fingers and wrists of the user's hands." For example, users can mark the word "Go" by holding out their index fingers at the same time (# 903 and # 905), bending the rest of their fingers (# 902 and # 907), and rotating their wrists (# 920 and # 921).


Apple never explained the second device on display (# 901). It's hard to believe Apple expects users to use two Apple watches. Is it an accessory for Apple Watch? There is no answer to this question yet.


Apple's patented figure 6 shows a plan of the Apple Watch using inertial sensors for motion and gesture sensing. Figure 7A shows a cross-section view of the wrist and Apple Watch, using a mechanical contact sensor to sense motion and gestures. Figure 7B is a cross-section view of the wrist and Apple Watch, using optical sensors located in the strap for motion and gesture sensing; figure 7C is a close-up view of the band.

Apple Watch new patent

Patent figure 8 shows a cross-section view of the wrist and Apple Watch that senses motion and gestures through EMG sensors.


In some examples, optical sensing can use a light source and a light sensor located in the device itself or in the Apple Watch strap. Light sources and light sensors can produce reflection profiles from light reflected from the user's tendons, skin, muscles, and bones.


In one example shown in fig. 8, the EMG sensor allows the device to detect changes in electrical signals or tendon capacitance as the user moves.


Figure 4 shows a typical configuration of Apple Watch on the user's wrist.


More specifically, when the user wants to perform any of the actions shown in the following figure starting from fig. 3A, when the user's brain sends an electrical signal to stimulate the muscle (# 430), Fingers (# 402), wrists (# 420) and hands (# 404) can be moved. The muscles then contract according to the electrical signals they receive.


According to the received electrical signal, the tendon (# 410) attached to the muscle (# 430) can also contract or move, and can cause the movement of the user's fingers, wrists and hands. , Apple Watch can detect the movement and electrical signals of tendons when the tendons contract or move.


The movement and gesture of the user can be determined by the movement or electrical signal of the tendon, or both of the, Apple Watch.

Apple Watch new patent

Patent figure 5B shows the top view of the wrist and Apple Watch, where motion and gestures can be sensed by optical sensors. Optical sensors and light sources can be installed on the Apple Watch to specifically measure the movement of tendons or muscles.


The pictures in the above three series demonstrate typical movements of fingers and wrists.


Given that this is only a patent application, it is not clear when the product will be available.

Part of the inventor of the patent

Head of Product Design, Erik de Jong:Apple Watch.


Colin Ely: product design engineer. Through Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems came to Apple as a mechanical engineer.


Director of Product Development, Brian Lynch:iPod.


Serhan Isikman: display and Optics Manager.


Kuldeep Lonkar: Senior Product Design engineer, has worked at Apple Watch, iPhone X and HomePod. Currently working in the technology development department.


Andrzej Baranski: product design and structural analysis engineer. Came to Apple through BD Medical as a technology leader. One of the projects is the design and development of products such as drug delivery medical equipment.


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