According to a report in Apple Insider, Apple, Inc. now has a published patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a “Wristband device input using wrist movement”, which could indicate a new functionality for future iterations of Apple Watch.

The patent application shows a wristband that converts wrist movements into device commands, but it is unclear at this point whether Apple will, in fact, use this on Apple Watch or if it plans on introducing a standalone product that can interact with iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices from Apple.

Apple granted patent for wristband that tracks gestures from wrist movements

The wristband will essentially have various types of sensors that can detect, analyze and then interpret wrist movements and translate them into specific commands that can be transmitted wirelessly to devices.

Apple granted patent for wristband that tracks gestures from wrist movements

For example, Apple Insider shows that making a “phone” gesture with an extended thumb and little finger (pinky) against the ear could open the phone app on the Apple Watch or a nearby host device like the iPhone. Other gestures may be able to launch apps, control music volume and control other system processes on the linked device.

Apple granted patent for wristband that tracks gestures from wrist movements

According to the filing’s details, the patent application was filed in October 2013 and credits Anton M. Davydov as its inventor.

Patent History

Publication number: 20160299570
Type: Application
Filed: Oct 24, 2013
Publication Date: Oct 13, 2016
Applicant: Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)
Inventor: Anton M. Davydov (Gilroy, CA)
Application Number: 15/031,705
Mr. Davydov is also the co-inventor listed on another patent application by Apple, Inc. for “FACILITATING ACCESS TO LOCATION-SPECIFIC INFORMATION USING WIRELESS DEVICES.” Following is an extract from the patent filing’s description:

“Each location-specific information record can include information that may be relevant to the user when the user is at a specific location. The information can include, e.g., a reminder to do a specific task, a special offer redeemable at a particular location, account information for a customer loyalty program associated with a particular merchant, account information related to a stored-value card that is usable at a particular location, an admission ticket or pass to an event, and so on. A location-specific information record can associate the information with a location or set of locations at which the information is deemed relevant.

When the host device detects that its current location corresponds to a relevant location for a location card, the host device can send the card (or a portion of the information contained in the card) to a wearable device that is currently paired with the host device. The wearable device can alert the user that the card is available and can present the information contained in the card.”

Both of these patent applications point to a wristband – or some sort of wearable tech – that could be incorporated into the Apple Watch design or used as a standalone wearable that can be wirelessly linked to an iPhone or other device.

We don’t know how or when Apple will be using these technologies, but both patents were published this year, which means Apple has now secured exclusive rights to both these technologies.

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