Apple updates and refines the invention of VR headset finger accessories

In October 2019, Apple released a patent application report titled “Apple Patent Reveals Finger Sensory Devices That Will Work With A Future Headset And Designed To Be Filed Together.” While VR headset designs on the market today can use VR gloves or portable accessory devices to assist users playing and interacting in VR environments, one of Apple’s leading creative engineers, Paul X. Wang, has patented future finger devices that could be positioned on one or more fingers in order to achieve the same thing.

A Bloomberg rumor said Thursday that Apple’s first crack in a future headset will be in the form of a head-mounted VR device like Facebook’s Oculus and not AR glasses. This makes it more important than ever to stay up to date on all current and future Apple patents on this subject, so that they understand what features and accessories might be part of their first and next VR headsets.

Electronic finger devices

Apple’s invention generally covers a system that may include one or more finger-mounted devices such as finger devices with U-shaped housings configured to be mounted on a user’s fingers while collecting sensor input and providing the tactile output.

Sensors can include force sensors, inertial measurement units, proximity sensors, tactile sensors, and other sensors. Haptic output devices in finger-mounted devices can deliver vibration and other haptic output to a user’s fingers as the user interacts with real-world objects and computer-generated virtual objects in virtual reality and mixed reality environments.

The Apple patent FIG. 1 below is a schematic diagram of an illustrative system with a finger device according to their invention; FIGURE. 2 is a top view of an illustrative finger of a user on which a finger device has been positioned; FIGURE. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative finger device on a user’s finger.

Battery case

The Apple patent FIG. 8 below is a perspective view of an illustrative battery case with a hinged lid for storing and charging a finger device; FIGURE. 9 is a top view of an illustrative memory case for a set of three finger devices; FIGURE. 10 is a perspective view of an illustrative head mounted device to which finger devices have been coupled for storage and charging; FIGURE. 11 is a perspective view of a portion of a device such as a head mounted device which has a recess for receiving a finger device.

You can review our original 2019 patent application report here for more details. Apple obtained this patent in October 2020

On Thursday, the US Patent & Trademark Office issued a continuation patent relating to this invention. Most major Apple inventions evolve over time until and do so through continuation patents.

Today’s patent report is not about a new invention application, but rather a continuation patent where Apple is updating and / or adding specific technologies, features and / or methods that they want to legally extend, protect, and fold in their granted patent that is legally allowed. Any modifications and / or additions to their invention are limited to Apple’s patent claims which are legally binding.

Apple’s October 2020 granted patent-covered patent claims that essentially covered 4 specific areas of their invention as follows:

  1. One finger device (7 complaints in total)
  2. A head mounted device (9 claims in total)
  3. The battery case (6 complaints in total)
  4. A System (5 claims in total)

Apple’s continuation patent, released January 21, 2020, added 20 patent claims covering 3 areas of Apple’s invention with new information as follows:

  1. An electronic device (10 complaints in total)
  2. One case (5 complaints in total)
  3. A head-mounted display (5 complaints in total)

Below are some examples of Apple’s new or additional patent claims for this invention in the 3 additional key areas as noted above.

Patent claim # 1 adds information: an electronic device configured to charge a finger device, wherein the finger device comprises a finger device housing and a battery within the finger device housing, the electronic device comprising: a housing Electronic device; a power source configured to provide power to the battery; and a magnet configured to align the housing of the finger device with the housing of the electronic device.

Patent claim # 11: Housing for a finger device, wherein the finger device comprises a finger device housing and a battery within the finger device housing, the housing comprising: first and second housing parts configured to rotate relative to each other around a hinge; a power source configured to provide power to the battery; and a magnet configured to hold the finger device inside the case.

Patent claims # 3 and # 13: … wherein the finger device housing comprises a U-shaped finger device housing and the cavity comprises a U-shaped groove configured to receive the finger device housing U.

To review all 20 added patent applications, check out Apple’s continuation patent 20210018981. Considering this is a continuation patent, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.

Through: www.patentlyapple.com

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  • According to this source Apple updates and refines the invention of VR headset finger accessories
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