Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,698,497) for a “vein scanning device for automatic gesture and finger recognition.” The device would be the Apple Watch, which would be able to automatically determining a user’s gesture and/or finger positions based on one or more properties of the user’s veins.
In the patent filing, the tech giant says that, while voice and touch input can be an effective way to control a device, there may be situations where the user’s ability to speak the verbal command or perform the touch gesture may be limited. Vein scanning tech could not only determine what you’re about to do on the Apple Watch in current situations, it could also provide a means for the smartwatch to control augmented reality apps (and perhaps interact with“Apple Glasses,” a rumored augmented reality device).
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “The device can include one or more sensors (e.g., a camera) to capture one or more images of the user’s hand. The device can convert the image(s) to digital representations and can correlate the digital image(s) of the veins to one or more poses. From the pose(s), the device can determine the user’s hand movements, and one or more gestures and/or finger positions can be determined from the hand movements. The device can interpret the gestures and/or finger positions as one or more input commands, and the device can perform an operation based on the input command(s). Examples of the disclosure include using the user input commands in virtual reality applications.”