Patents Show Apple’s iPhone Could Become a Virtual Reality Gamepad


Apple recently filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) titled “Auto Mix Interferometry Based Gesture Input System Including Handheld or Handheld Device.” Essentially, the patent describes the use of smart ring-shaped devices worn by a user to control other Apple devices. The ring can be used singly or in pairs and could potentially be used to control Apple VR headsets with hand gestures. It should be noted that, according to the report, Apple has only filed a patent for the smart ring at this time. The company has not confirmed that such a device will eventually be developed. So this information should be taken with a big pinch of salt.

iPhone instead of VR controller

The patent, spotted by Patently Apple, shows the versatility of the product which has capabilities for virtual reality as well as augmented reality and mixed reality. Apple’s patent describes the use of a technique called self-mixed interferometry (SMI) which uses one or more SMI sensors to detect hand gestures. An SMI sensor will be able to track the movements of users’ fingers relative to another finger and / or the palm. The SMI sensor will also be able to recognize devices like Apple Pencil and will be able to function accordingly.

In the future, the iPhone could serve as an interface to the virtual reality environment and thus serve as a controller for virtual reality games. According to t3n, Apple would offer users familiar devices while preventing them from buying and learning new devices. With the previous leaders in this direction, the problem arose time and again that the calculation of the exact position of the cell phone through the virtual reality glasses was not working. It is precisely this gap that the patent seeks to fill. A mark on the physical iPhone screen could serve as an orientation for the virtual reality glasses, as the system uses the marker to calculate the position in virtual space and track it. It must also be possible to detect the rotation of the “controller”. According to the patent, the control signal allows the “second device”, the iPhone, to be used as a three-dimensional control, as a 3D pointer, or as a user interface input device.

In addition, a reflector should showcase the synthetic models of the cell phone. Apple mentions several deployment options in this regard. In one of the arrangements, the front camera is superimposed by an optical component which serves as a partial mirror. In another, the desired effects are achieved through different layers applied to the screen. In addition, the patent also talks about sensors and cameras that scan the environment and record the direction in which the user is looking.

Das iPhone als Display fr VR-Headset
According to t3n, the second document is Apple’s 16 patent, which describes a virtual reality headset in which an iPhone can be integrated. Engineers speak of a “display device with an optical combiner” which can also be mounted on the head. The combination to be located in the field of mixed reality is intended to make visible real and computer generated images at the same time. In addition, it can be seen from the document that the combiner also shows the real environment, so it does not act as a screen which only shows images of the real environment, but rather like glasses.

Summary of the news:

  • Patents Show Apple’s iPhone Could Become a Virtual Reality Gamepad
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