Apple patents Ultrasonic Haptic Soundwaves for HMDs that deliver next-generation experiences to users like feeling wind or rain on their faces in a game

Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has officially granted Apple a patent for an electronic equipment that supplies ultrasonic haptic sound waves. Ultrasound waves may be directed toward the user to provide a haptic output. Touch output devices can be used in a system that includes one or more electronic devices such as a head-mounted monitor, iMac, iPhone, and iPad. Ultrasound tactile output can be used to simulate contact with a virtual object, to simulate rain, to simulate wind, and/or to simulate other sensations in a mixed reality or virtual reality environment.

In the background of Apple’s patents, they note that devices such as wearables sometimes include haptic output components. Haptic output components may provide the user with haptic output while the user interacts with software such as game software.

Designing a haptic output device can be challenging. If care is not taken, the tactile output may not provide the desired sensation for the user, the tactile output may not be applied to a suitable location on the user’s body, or the tactile output device may be too bulky or difficult to use.

The Apple invention/patent granted covers a system that may include tactile output devices such as ultrasonic tactile output components that generate ultrasonic sound waves. Ultrasound waves may be directed toward the user to provide a haptic output. Touch output devices may be used in a system that includes one or more electronic devices such as a device with a monitor (eg, a head-mounted monitor, a desktop computer monitor, a tablet monitor, a laptop monitor, a cellular phone monitor, etc.).

Control circuits may provide control signals for tactile output devices based on sensor data indicating where the user is located and/or based on what is displayed to the user on the screen. Ultrasound tactile output may be directed toward the user’s hands, individual fingers, face, feet, legs, or any other part of the body.

Ultrasound tactile output can be used to simulate contact with a virtual object, to simulate rain, to simulate wind, and/or to simulate other sensations in a mixed reality or virtual reality environment.

Ultrasound tactile output components may be stand-alone devices or may be installed in a head-mounted monitor, base game station, portable console, fingertip device, or other electronic equipment.

Ultrasound tactile output components can be arranged in a matrix on a tactile output device. Ultrasound tactile output components may include piezoelectric components, electromagnetic polymer components, electromagnetic actuators, and other tactile output components.

Ultrasound touch output components can be mounted on movable support structures. Movable supporting structures may move linearly along an axis and/or may rotate about a pivot point.

Ultrasound tactile output devices can be mounted removable on an electronic device. The electronic device may have a recess that receives the ultrasonic tactile output device. The ultrasonic tactile output device may operate while in the cavity and/or may be removed from the cavity and placed on a surface to provide tactile output to the desired location on the user’s body.

Apple patented FIG. 1 Below is a schematic diagram of an illustrative system; Figs. Figure 2 is a graph showing how an ultrasonic tactile output device can provide a tactile output that travels a certain distance to reach the user according to a model.

2 Apple patents for Hapic Ultrasound Output Devices

Apple patented FIG. 3 above is a perspective view A head-mounted demonstration device that has ultrasonic tactile output components that provide tactile output to the user’s face.

Apple patented FIG. 4 above is a perspective view A head-mounted demonstration device with ultrasonic tactile output components that provides tactile output for the user’s hand to simulate contact with a virtual object.

Apple patented FIG. 5 Below is a perspective view to illustrate Controllers and fingertip devices containing ultrasonic tactile output components; Figs. Figure 6 is a perspective view of a gaming station with a set of ultrasonic haptic output components.

Apple patented FIG. 7 Below is a perspective view of illustrative electronic devices that have ultrasonic tactile output components that provide tactile output for different parts of the user’s body; Figs. Figure 8 is a cross-sectional view of the illustrative ultrasound tactile output device.

Apple patented FIG. 9 Below is a perspective view of the ultrasonic tactile output components installed on a movable support structure so that tactile output can be provided in different directions; Figs. 10 is a side view of a head-mounted demonstration device with ultrasonic tactile output components that operate through a display.

3 Apple wins a patent for ultrasonic output devices

Apple patented FIG. 11 Above is a front view of a head-mounted demonstration device with ultrasonic tactile output components In separate locations around the perimeter of the screen; Figs. 12 is a front view of a head-mounted demonstration device with ultrasonic tactile output components that surrounds the screen.

Apple patented FIG. Figure 13 above is a perspective view of an illustrative head-mounted device with Ultrasound tactile output device can be separated from the head-mounted device.

Apple patented FIG. Figure 14 above is a perspective view of an illustrative electronic device Having a retractable part with ultrasonic tactile output components.

Apple patented FIG. 15 above is a sectional side view of an illustrative electronic device with an ultrasonic tactile output device mounted behind slots in the electronic device.

Apple notes that the No. 28 haptic output provided in the patent numbers above, may be provided in response to user input and/or may be provided in response to content viewed on a screen (for example, a head-mounted monitor, a desktop computer monitor, a computer monitor Tablet, laptop screen, cell phone screen, etc.).

The user input that triggers the 28th haptic output may be a movement of the user’s body (eg, fingers, hands, eyes, head, etc.) visual camera, infrared light camera, 3D image sensor, dot projector or other regulated lighting device, etc.).

Displayed content that results in haptic output may be 2D displayed content, may be 3D displayed content, and content that is related to virtual reality, mixed reality, and/or augmented reality environment may be displayed, and/or content that is not related to Any virtual reality, mixed reality or augmented reality environment.

For more details, see patent granted to Apple 11,347,312.

10.52FX - Stripe Patent Granted

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