You might be able to control a future Apple Watch by blowing on it

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple is investigating a system that would allow users to control their Apple Watch, iPhone, or other device by blowing on it.

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider
Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider


In a patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, Apple outlines a system for "detecting blow events" and for "switching between different modes of an electronic device based on detected blow events."

A "blow event," in this case, refers to a user literally blowing on a device to trigger different functionality. That sounds objectively weird, but the patent outlines a couple of use cases.

"Portable electronic devices often require a first hand of a user to hold or wear the device and a second hand to physically interact with the device for providing user input commands for controlling the functionality of the electronic device. When a user is unable to directly physically interact with an electronic device for providing input commands, the user experience provided by the device is significantly reduced," the patent reads.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


For example, if an Apple Watch wearer cannot tap on their watch because they're carrying bags in each hand, they could blow on the wearable to trigger a specific feature -- such as answering a call. Though the system seems most useful for wearable devices, Apple's patent application suggests it could work on an iPhone, too.

The system could identify a blow event by using sensors to measure and detect an increase or change in pressure. To boost the accuracy and reduce the chances of a false positive, the system would incorporate a variety of pressure sensors, as well as additional components like humidity or temperature sensors.

Beyond a single blow to trigger a specific functionality, the patent contends that an operating system could map various commands to different "blow events." For example, two or more blows within a particular period of time could trigger a different feature.

Jiang Wang, who worked on Apple sensor technology for iOS and watchOS in the past, is listed as the patent application's inventor.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The Cupertino tech giant has experimented with non-touch user experience methods in the past, including 3D in-air gestures for Mac or AirPods. Other interesting patents focused on the interaction between users and devices include an "Apple Car" system that could change how it drives by detecting passenger stress.

Apple files numerous patent applications on a weekly basis, so they're a poor indicator of when a particular feature may debut. Similarly, not all patented technology actually makes it to a final product.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 681member
    Licensed from Nintendo?
    Eric_WVGG
  • Reply 2 of 13
    XedXed Posts: 768member
    The system could identify a blow event by using sensors to measure and detect an increase or change in pressure.
    I've always considered a blow event to be a way to relieve pressure.

    edited April 1 mknelsonmike1jony0
  • Reply 3 of 13
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 880member
    mknelson said:
    Licensed from Nintendo?
    for anyone who doesn't get this reference, an old Gameboy model would accept "blowing" as an input, you would puff Kirby around I think

    could be a good feature for people with disabilities, Apple has a reputation for going above and beyond for that crowd
    mknelsonmobirdgregoriusmjony0
  • Reply 4 of 13
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 681member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    mknelson said:
    Licensed from Nintendo?
    for anyone who doesn't get this reference, an old Gameboy model would accept "blowing" as an input, you would puff Kirby around I think

    could be a good feature for people with disabilities, Apple has a reputation for going above and beyond for that crowd
    Actually, no. But your reason is better, and something I hadn't though of.

    I was joking about the legend of blowing into Nintendo NES cartridges to fix them.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    byronlbyronl Posts: 44member
    nintendo ds?
  • Reply 6 of 13
    BeatsBeats Posts: 1,957member
    Nintendo DS was way ahead of its time and the last innovative mobile before iPhone. Nintendo had the concept of apps and independent developers in the bag and one day they decided “never mind”.

    Anyways this patent confirms the next Samsung iKnockoff will have a blow feature. When Apple releases their finished, perfected version iKnockoff morons will claim “Apple copied!” But like Galaxy Edge, Galaxy Fold and SamsungPay and Galaxy Gear, Samsung’s version will “blow”.
    rezwits
  • Reply 7 of 13
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,830member
    Just tuning in for the jokes...
  • Reply 8 of 13
    muaddibmuaddib Posts: 75member
    Detects halitosis with a comment from Siri.
    jony0
  • Reply 9 of 13
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,791member

    And after this, we'll have the "Lick" event?  :p
  • Reply 10 of 13
    ne1ne1 Posts: 60member
    You know how to tell time, don’t you?

    you just put your lips together and...blow. 
  • Reply 11 of 13
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,002member
    Something tells me the date of this article's posting has something to do with the content.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    rossb2rossb2 Posts: 86member
    I cannot see myself using the blow feature, I hate blowing out candles. 

    It might be a good feature for users with one arm?
  • Reply 13 of 13
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 891member
    Fauci and the CDC may not approve...
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