On Thursday, the US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple relating to providing an intelligent shopping experience using wireless communication. Smart gestures can facilitate smart shopping and other contactless experiences by allowing a user to naturally gesture toward one or more desired items with or while wearing a portable or non-portable electronic device. The electronic device may identify the smart gesture and determine that one or more desired items are indicated by the smart gesture.
Apple’s invention that was released on Thursday covers various techniques to reduce or avoid undesirable conditions of the smart shopping experience (e.g. line formation, crowd formation, multiple users touching a single device) , increasing the efficiency and ease of the smart shopping experience.
Apple’s invention can allow a user to select, get information about, and purchase a desired item by gesturing towards the item. A gesture intended to identify or interact with a target element via an electronic device may be referred to herein as a “smart gesture”. The electronic device may include a non-wearable electronic device (eg, smartphone), a wearable electronic device (eg, smart ring, smart watch, smart glasses, headphones, earphones, etc.), a system camera that detects and identifies the smart gesture, and so on.
By allowing a user to choose a desired item by gesturing towards the item with one of many natural and culturally relevant hand, arm and/or head gestures, the smart shopping experience can be simplified and streamlined – reducing or completely avoiding the formation of long queues and the formation of crowds.
Various measures can be taken to improve the precision of the smart gesture and of the element targeted by the smart gesture. For example, an electronic device may be equipped with one or more motion sensors that can detect a variety of motions (e.g., up, down, out, in, twist, rotation and/or other similar movements) which may indicate a smart gesture, and processing circuitry of the electronic device may determine whether the movements form the smart gesture.
In some embodiments, a baseline for a specific user gesture can be established by a series of calibration movements that can be detected by the motion sensors. Additionally, the electronic device may include a machine learning engine that can learn and enable more accurate identification of gestures.
Ultra-wideband (UWB) electronic devices can enable fine-grained smart gestures via communication with a UWB anchor or UWB beacon. For example, a UWB transmitter or UWB transceiver of the electronic device may ping (e.g. send a query packet to) one or more UWB anchors to determine the location of the electronic device within gesture-enabled premises smart (e.g. restaurant, retail store, grocery store, etc.) with an accuracy of up to 5 centimeters. When the user directs a smart gesture to a desired item, the electronic device may establish a vector based on the smart gesture to determine the desired item.
In the case of using the UWB tag, the tag can be associated with a certain item available for purchase. When the user gestures towards a desired item associated with a UWB tag, and the electronic device is within a threshold range of the UWB tag, the electronic device may receive a tag signal from the UWB tag, associated to or indicating the desired item. Smart gestures can also be facilitated by 5th generation (5G) cellular network slicing, in which smart gesture-enabled premises can have a virtualized 5G network dedicated to supporting smart gesture operation.
Apple’s patent FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the electronic device which may include a non-wearable electronic device (e.g., smartphone), a wearable electronic device (e.g., smart ring, smart watch, smart glasses, headphones, headphones, etc. on), a camera system that detects and identifies the smart gesture, and so on; FIG. 3 is a perspective diagram of a clever gesture; FIG. 4 is a flowchart of a method for identifying the intelligent gesture of FIG. 3.
Apple’s patent FIG. 6 above is a flowchart of a method of identifying the target article using the UWB anchoring system; FIG. 7 is a perspective diagram illustrating the identification of a target element in a UWB beacon system.
Apple’s patent FIG. 13 below is a perspective diagram of a smart gesture operation in a smart gesture restaurant; FIG. 14 is a flowchart of a food or beverage selection process in the smart gesture restaurant of FIG. 13; FIG. 15 is a perspective diagram of a smart gesture operation in a smart gesture art gallery; FIG. 16 is a flowchart of a method for facilitating smart gestures in smart gesture enabled recreation premises, such as the smart gesture enabled art gallery of FIG. 15.
Apple’s patent FIG. 17 above is a perspective diagram of an intelligent gesture operation to facilitate information gathering during a sightseeing tour; and fig. 18 is a flowchart of a method for enabling smart gestures to facilitate the information gathering of FIG. 17.
To review this in-depth technical invention, see Apple US Patent Application 20220391955 A1.
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