Apple looking to patent ‘finger devices’ for AR, VR interaction

Apple has filed a patent application for nail-sized “finger devices” to interact with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) objects, reports Cnet, citing US Patent and Trademark Office records. The application states that the device would be equipped with force, ultrasonic and optical sensors in order to control virtual objects in a mixed reality or virtual reality environment, with the finger device providing haptic feedback for a realistic effect. One possible use would be to change the volume on a HomePod speaker by turning a virtual dial while wearing the device, said the report.

The patent also suggests the device could be used to carry out commands when a person runs an “external object” — such as a fingertip — across the outer surface. Apple has been ramping up its work in AR and VR in recent years, added Cnet. Last year it filed a patent application for a mixed reality headset combining augmented and virtual reality, having previously acquired specialist AR startups including VRvana and Akonia.

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