Saturday, February 4, 2023
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Apple wins two more patents for an ‘Apple Ring’ for controlling Macs

This Apple Ring concept is courtesy of Yanko Design.

Apple has been granted two more patents for an “Apple Ring.” Number 11,360,587 is for “deployment systems for computer system finger devices.” Patent number 11,360,558 is for “computer systems with finger devices.”

About the patents 

Of course, electronic devices such as computers can be controlled using computer mice and other input accessories. Input accessories can be used to control content that is displayed on a display and to take other actions. 

However, Apple says that some input accessories for computer systems “may be cumbersome or uncomfortable or may be difficult for a user to deploy.” The tech giant apparently things finger devices offers a solution.

Apple’s idea is for a system that may include a finger device with sensor circuitry in a housing. The sensor circuitry may include a strain gauge, accelerometer, displacement sensor, and/or other sensor circuitry to detect finger input and movement. 

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an illustrative finger device with a hinge.

Summary of the patents

Here’s Apple’s abstract of patent 11,360,587: “A system may include a finger device that is worn on a user’s finger. The finger device may serve as a controller for a head-mounted device or other devices in the system. The finger device may have a foldable housing with hinge structures that allow portions of the housing to fold with respect to each other. Magnets or other bistability structures may be used to provide the folding housing with folding bistability. 

“This allows the housing to be placed in a stable unfolded state that releases the finger or a stable folded state in which the housing snaps over the finger and holds the finger device in place. A base may be used to store the finger device for charging. The base may have deployment structures that help place the finger device on the user’s finger for use.”

Here’s Apple’s abstract of patent number 11,360,558: “A system may include finger devices. A touch sensor may be mounted in a finger device housing to gather input from an external object as the object moves along an exterior surface of the housing. The touch sensor may include capacitive sensor electrodes. Sensors such as force sensors, ultrasonic sensors, inertial measurement units, optical sensors, and other components may be used in gathering finger input from a user. 

“Finger input from a user may be used to manipulate virtual objects in a mixed reality or virtual reality environment while a haptic output device in a finger device provides associated haptic output. A user may interact with real-world objects while computer-generated content is overlaid over some or all of the objects. Object rotations and other movements may be converted into input for a mixed reality or virtual reality system using force measurements or other sensors measurements made with the finger devices.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.