Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,845,894) for “computer systems with finger devices for sampling object attributes and sending them to Macs, iPads, iPhones, or the rumored “Apple Glasses.”
The finger devices aren’t “Apple Rings” or “Apple Gloves” as hinted at in some patents, as they wouldn’t necessarily encompass your entire hand. In the patent, Apple notes that Macs, iPads, and iPhones can be controlled via mice, touch screen displays, touchpad, trackpads, etc., while on some augmented reality (AR) head-mounted displays force-feedback gloves can be used to control virtual objects. The tech giant says that devices such as these may not be convenient for a user, may be cumbersome or uncomfortable, or may provide unrealistic output.
Apple’s idea is for finger devices configured to be worn on fingers of users and may include other electronic devices. The electronic devices may include sensors. A sensor may measure information on real-world-object physical attributes such as surface contours and textures associated with real-world objects. The measured physical attributes may be used to recreate a sampled physical object for a Mac/iPad/iPhone user or used in a computer-generated reality environment with Apple Glasses.
During presentation of computer-generated content, visual content, audio content, haptic content, and/or other content may be presented that is based on measured visual, audio, haptic, and/or other physical attributes of a real-world object. The finger devices would be able to “measure” and recreate the visual appearance and other physical attributes of real-world objects. Those features could be overlaid on real-life objects with an AR head-mounted display.
The finger devices can be worn on any or all of a user’s fingers (e.g., the index finger, the index finger and thumb, three of a user’s fingers on one of the user’s hands, some or all fingers on both hands, etc.). They would allow a user to touch objects with the finger pad portions of the user’s fingers during use. If desired, finger devices may be worn over knuckles on a user’s finger, between knuckles, and/or on other portions of a user’s finger.
When it comes to Apple Glasses, such a device will arrive next year or 2022, depending on which rumor you believe. It will be a head-mounted display. Or may have a design like “normal” glasses. Or it may be available in both. The Apple Glasses may or may not have to be tethered to an iPhone to work. Other rumors say that Apple Glasses could have a custom-build Apple chip and a dedicated operating system dubbed “rOS” for “reality operating system.”