A new Apple VR patent spotted in the wild has revealed the company's plans to use VR gloves capable of measuring the movement of your fingers and thumbs as a possible means for controlling its breakthrough mixed reality headset, expected to debut next year.
A patent spotted in China's National Intellectual Property Administration database by MySmartPrice reveals a patent filed by Apple in 2018 for 'IMU-based gloves' that describes "a VR glove capable of measuring movement of individual phalanges and thumb bones." These gloves could contain motion sensors and gyroscopes to measure movement, orientation, and position, as well as velocity, even including a magnetometer to determine the direction of the earth's magnetic field. The patent also includes provisions for electrodes that can sense heading and touch as well as contact between fingertips.
As MSP notes, the patent is accompanied by documents that "also mention that the gloves can be used along with VR technology in military training, video games, education, and others."
Previous patents have revealed thimble-like finger controllers that could also be used as a method of control.
Apple VR, the company's rumored mixed-reality headset, seems like a done deal for release next year at this point. This new report follows a major leak last week revealing that Apple VR will feature iris scanning for biometric security and payments. It also claimed the headset will be made from a lightweight blend of premium materials including glass, aluminum, and fabrics.
Meta recently released its new Quest Pro headset to the tune of $1,500, however, reports indicate Apple's headset could be priced at as much as $3,000. Other rumored features include a swathe of cameras for movement and face tracking as well as dual 8K displays.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9