Apple has been granted a patent for an advanced ring accessory system that provides cursor, paint, pencil and trackpad modes
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple-issued patent for an advanced smart ringer system that could work with an iMac, MacBook, or iPad, especially an iPad Pro when docked to a smart keyboard. The ring operates in four modes covering cursor movement, brush, pencil, and touchpad modes.
Advanced intelligent ringing system
The Apple patent relates to finger wearable input assemblies and methods of using finger wearable input assemblies (rings) to control an electronic device.
A cuboid or cylindrical housing of an assembly may define a hollow passageway in which one finger of a user’s hand may be positioned to wear the assembly, while other fingers of the hand may provide tactile inputs of user to various touch sensor input components disposed on an exterior of the housing around the passageway.
For example, one or more electromechanical switches and one or more touchpads may be provided at different portions of a periphery extending around the hollow passage of the assembly, and the different sensors may simultaneously detect different inputs from different fingers of the assembly. user, while the sensed signal from the inputs may be used to generate control data for controlling a user interface of an electronic device that may be communicatively coupled (eg, wirelessly) to the input assembly .
Any suitable motion sensor may also be provided by the input assembly to determine movement (e.g., translation and/or rotation) of the input assembly housing in three-dimensional space, and such Motion can be used in combination with any combination of touch sensed sensor inputs to control the electronic device user interface.
Apple’s patent FIG. 2A below is a right side view of an example electronic input assembly (ring) interacting with an example electronic device (an iMac); FIG. 2D is a top view of the system of FIG. 2A; FIG. 2B is a front view of the system of FIG. 2A showing where the finger points and directs the image or pointer on the screen.
Apple’s patent FIGS. Figures 3A and 3B below illustrate the top and bottom right side perspective of one style finger device. The numbers show that the ring could be recharged (wired or wireless); FIG. 6 is a flowchart of illustrative methods of using an input assembly (ring) to drive an electronic device (iMac, MacBook+). FIGS. Figures 4A and 4B illustrate other forms of annular device.
Four types of ringtone functionality
Apple notes that there are four distinct types of functionality built into the Ring. Each of the four functionality types may involve a different set of possible user inputs to be detected, where each functionality type, when detected, may function to be processed to generate a different type of control data to control the device electronics in a different way. .
the first type of functionality may include a type of default functionality when the first entry is disabled, which may include being operative to generate a mouse cursor type of control data.
For example, an input assembly motion sensor circuit may operate to detect any motion of the input assembly in three-dimensional space (e.g., direction, acceleration, deceleration, etc.), as may occur when a user moves in space his finger carrying the input assembly.
The second type of functionality of operation 508c may include a type of brush functionality, which may include being operative to generate a brush cursor type of control data (e.g., to control cursor #112c on screen # 112s in a second way as if the input set were a brush input tool), where, for example, a motion sensor circuit of the input set can operate to detect any movement of the set of entry into a three-dimensional space.
Data from the motion sensor circuit can control the movement of a cursor, while pressing the second input component can “adjust” the cursor’s brush color to its current location, while holding the second input component can start a “paint” operation at the current cursor location and continue with the cursor movement until the hold of the second input component ends.
The third type of functionality of operation 508d may include a pen functionality type, which may include being operative to generate a pen cursor type of control data (e.g., to control cursor #112c on screen #112s d ‘a third way as if the input set is a pencil input tool
Motion sensor circuit data can control the movement of a cursor (for example, direction along the screen #112s to adjust the position of the cursor on the screen and/or rotation around the axis perpendicular to the screen to adjust the angle of the pen tool to the screen and/or the distance from the screen to the screen to adjust the size of the pen tip), while pressing the third input component can “adjust” the cursor between a pencil and an eraser at its current location, while pressing the third input component can start a “drawing” or “erasing” operation at the location current cursor and continue with cursor movement until the hold of the third input component ends.
The fourth type of functionality operation 508e may include a type of touchpad functionality, which may include being operative to generate a touchpad type of control data (e.g., to allow movement of the cursor 112c on the screen 112s in a fourth manner according to detected motion along a touchpad input component and/or to activate drawing input according to detected input along a touchpad input component)), where, for example, at a current location of a cursor, a fourth of the input components (e.g., bottom touchpad input component 210d, 210d’, 210d”, etc.) may operate to detect any trackpad gesture event (e.g. tracing the segments of a character (e.g. a letter “A”)) such as may occur when a user interacts with this input component using a finger different from the finger carrying the input set (for example, a thumb of the right hand TM l when an index of the right hand IF carries the input set), while a second of the input components (for example, a right input component 210b, 210b’, 210b”, etc.) may be operable to detect any tap event or any hold event that may occur when a user interacts with this input component using a different finger than the one carrying the input assembly (e.g., a middle finger of the right hand MF when an index finger of the right hand IF carries the entry set).
For details, see Apple granted patent 11,275,456.