Magnets or other bistable structures can be used to provide folding bistables for foldable enclosures. A base can be used to store the finger device, and the base can have a wireless power circuit to charge the ring wirelessly.
One of the patent applications, titled “Computing System with Finger Device,” has now been granted. There’s also a patent application titled “Computer System Finger Device Deployment System” about how the ring works.
In the first of the two granted patents, Apple noted that normal computers would have no problem using a mouse and other input accessories for control. For AR and VR environments, things are a little harder. In virtual reality systems, force feedback gloves may be used to control virtual objects, and such devices may be inconvenient to the user, may be cumbersome or uncomfortable, or may provide insufficient feedback.
Therefore, the patent proposes a “finger peripheral device” which may include sensors, force sensors, ultrasonic sensors, inertial measurement units, optical sensors and other components. Finger devices can be used to collect finger input while the user is watching virtual content, so eventually, if the user has an AR virtual keyboard in front of them and they are typing with their ring finger, the system can infer that they want to type, and deduce at least some action.
Users can move virtual objects corresponding to movable controls or select displayed menu options based on finger input movements collected using the finger device, and in some arrangements, users can interact with real-world objects while computer-generated Content is overlaid on some or all objects.
And in the second granted patent, Apple looked at how the ring could communicate with AR or other systems. The sensor circuitry may include strain gauges, accelerometers, and/or other sensor circuitry to detect input as the finger moves. Wireless communication circuitry can be used to provide finger input to other devices in the system, such as headsets.
Apple even worked out how to charge the ring. Apple says the finger peripheral could have a hinged structure that allows parts of the case to fold relative to each other. Magnets or other bistable structures can be used to provide folding bistables for foldable enclosures. A base can be used to store the finger device, and the base can have a wireless power circuit to charge the ring wirelessly.
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