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Apple Glass could use ‘VR Gloves’ for gesture detection, patent suggests

Apple could ship its first augmented reality headset, aka Apple Glass, with a pair of special gloves in order to detect finger gestures.

A little detective work from Patently Apple found the company has won multiple patents for VR Gloves, or other means of picking up touch and movement.

The gloves would be used to detect skin-to-skin contact for functions like opening documents, scrolling a screen, making a selection, answering a FaceTime call, or using a peripheral connected to the Apple Glass headset.

Diagrams accompanying the patent filing show a user effectively using their palm as a trackpad while using a finger on the other hand to make the familiar gestures like pressing, sliding and pinching.

Patently Apple AR VR Glove
Image credit: Patently Apple

As well as a glove, Apple’s idea could be implemented within other accessories like finger cuffs, or a camera within the head-mounted device. Images within the filings also show a wearable device, which is more than likely an Apple Watch with an additional electrode.

“Apple’s approach is a little different. Apple’s invention covers devices and methods of detecting contact between a first body part and a second body part,” the report says (via 9to5Mac).

“Sense circuitry can be configured to sense a signal at the sense electrode (e.g., configured to contact the second body part) in response to a drive signal applied to the drive electrode (e.g., configured to contact the first body part).”

Apple may at least preview the first iteration of the Apple Watch in late 2022 or early 2023, but it’s by no means likely the company will include the gloves, or another gesture detection method within the first generation. Apple patents thousands of technologies every year with few ending up within its consumer goods.

It’s been one hell of a day for VR/AR news, with Meta announcing a significant Quest 2 price hike and Sony previewing some new PSVR 2 features.

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