Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11755107 B1) for “finger devices with proximity sensors.” It involves finger devices that could be used with the upcoming Apple Vision Pro.
The US$3,499 (and up) “Spatial Computer” will arrive in early 2024. However, it will only be available in limited quantities at first.
About the patent
The patent relates mainly to sensors for finger-mounted electronic devices. In the patent filing Apple notes that en virtual reality systems, force-feedback gloves can be used to control virtual objects. The tech giant’s idea is for a system that may include one or more finger devices that gather input from a user’s fingers.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “system may include control circuitry that sends control signals to an electronic device based on the input gathered with the finger devices. A finger device may include one or more proximity sensors that measure a distance to the user’s finger. The proximity sensor may be a self-mixing optical proximity sensor having a laser and photodiode. The proximity sensor may have submicron resolution and may be configured to detect very small movements of the finger as finger pad is moved around by a thumb finger, by a surface, and/or by other finger movements. The proximity sensor may measure changes in distance between the proximity sensor and a flexible membrane that rests against a side portion of the user’s finger.”