Apple Invents a new Touchless Wrist Apple Watch Measurement App for iPhone

Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to a future Apple Watch performing touchless wrist measurement and, in particular, to systems, methods, and devices that determine a wrist measurement or watch band size using depth data captured by a depth sensor of an electronic device like an iPhone.

Apple notes that existing measuring techniques have various disadvantages with respect to measuring a person’s wrist. Such techniques may require special measuring equipment such as a body measuring ruler or tape that require contact with the person’s wrist and that may be cumbersome to use and subject to error.

Apple’s invention covers devices, systems, and methods that determine the wrist measurement and/or watch band size using depth data captured by a depth sensor. In some implementations, wrist measurement techniques are touchless.

In some implementations, the wrist measurement techniques are performed by an individual using an electronic device like a smartphone that includes a depth sensor. The electronic device may be placed on a surface with the depth sensor facing up, and a user may rotate their hand/wrist above the electronic device while at least two depth map images of the wrist are captured during a wrist scanning process. In some implementations, one of the depth map images of the user’s wrist is captured with the palm facing the depth sensor and the other of the depth map images of the user’s wrist is captured with the palm facing the side. In some implementations, the depth data is input into a machine learning (ML) model that outputs a measurement corresponding to the circumference of the wrist and/or a watch band size among a plurality of band sizes.

Optionally, the depth map images may include depth values ​​for portions of a hand, all of the hand, and/or portions of the arm above the wrist. In some implementations, guidance regarding positioning of the wrist is provided while the depth data is obtained by the depth sensor.

In some implementations, watch bands come in a plurality of sizes. Further, a first watch type (eg, wide) may come in a first plurality of fixed sizes and a second watch type (eg, narrow) may come in a second plurality of fixed sizes based on wrist circumference. However, watch band sizes may overlap between a first watch type and a second watch type.

In some implementations, the watch band is not adjustable (eg, no clasp, buckle, notch, etc.), although the non-adjustable watch band may stretch a little to slide over the hand and onto the wrist. An accurate wrist measurement is especially useful for non-adjustable watches.

As shown in Apple’s patent FIG. 1 below, the wrist measurement technique may be implemented in an iPhone (#120) that includes a depth sensor (#122) that faces a user’s wrist (#110). In some implementations, two depth images of the wrist captured by the depth sensor are used to determine the wrist measurement and/or watch band size.

As shown in patent FIG. 2 above, the first image (left #202a) of the initialization screen includes a wrist selection indicator (#212) and a wrist selection actuator (#216). In some implementations, when the user selects the right wrist to be measured at the wrist selection actuator, the right wrist selection is indicated in wrist selection image (#202b) using a wrist selection confirmation (#218) in a second image of the initialization screen. In some implementations, the start over selection (#210) is continuously available during the entire wrist measurement technique.

As shown in Apple’s patent FIG. 3 below, the first wrist measurement screen (#204) includes an instruction area (#310), a fixed indicator (#312a), a variable indicator 312b, and a first wrist measurement complete indicator 312c.

For example, the instruction area may say “center your right wrist palm down in the view below” and “position the solid dot inside to fill the hollow circle” (eg, move the variable indicator relative to the fixed indicator).

3 Apple patent figs 3 4&5 - Patentlly Apple report

As shown in patent FIG. 4 above, a series of example images (206a, 206b, 206c) of the second measurement screen (#206) include the wrist, the fixed indicator (#412a), and the variable indicator (#412b) until the second wrist measurement complete indicator (#412c) is displayed in example image (#206d).

In some implementations, two (or more) depth measurements or images of the wrist captured by the depth sensor are used to determine the wrist measurement or watch band size. In some implementations, the measurement output screen (#208) includes a measurement indicator.

As shown in patent FIG. 5 above, the measurement indicator (#512a) provides a watch band size being “size 5”. In some implementations, the measurement output screen (#508) includes a measurement complete indicator (#510) and a measurement confidence indicator (#512b). As shown in FIG. 5, the measurement indicator provides a watch band size being “size 5” with a “high” measurement confidence indicator.

In some alternate implementations, the wrist circumference is the output of the wrist measurement technique. As shown in FIG. 5, the indicator provides the wrist circumference that may be graphically displayed on a view of the wrist of the user. In other implementations, the band size or wrist circumference may be displayed as a 3D virtual object (eg, with the watch and/or wrist).

Apple’s patent FIG. 6 below illustrates an example of candidate locations along the forearm for a wrist measurement; FIG. 7 illustrates an example of candidate tightness levels for wrist measurement.

4 Apple patent figs.  6 7 & 8 - Patently Apple report

Apple’s patent FIG. 8 above is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary method of determining a wrist measurement or watch band size using depth data captured by a depth sensor.

For more details, review Apple’s patent application number 20220262025.

10.51FX - Patent Application Bar

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