Apple patents gesture-sensing technology for Apple Watch
While wearables like personal health trackers have seen mass adoption since their release, the Apple Watch has not caught on quite like industry watchers had speculated it would. But a recent patent shows that Apple hasn’t stopped pushing the product forward. The patent details a feature that could change how consumers use the smartwatch and how retailers and CPG companies leverage it.
Apple patented a technology that can read the hand gestures of a person wearing the device using light sensors. The system is capable of analyzing and responding to movements of the tendons, bones and ligaments within the wrist and interpreting them as commands, reports ZDNet. The technology is also capable of recording the gestures and using that data to anticipate future commands.
Were this technology implemented in Apple Watches, gesture control might be used in applications to streamline a hand-intensive task like shopping. For instance, theoretically, if the device could distinguish gestures on a granular enough level, it could read the specific type of gesture a customer’s hand makes when reaching for a particular kind of packaging on a particular shelf. This could enable an Apple Watch app to trigger reminders, promotions or discounts based on the behavior.
Apple has yet to reveal the actual number of Apple Watches sold since the device’s release, but it has received criticism from some big names in the tech industry. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak indicated the Apple Watch was off-brand in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit in March.
“I worry a little bit about … I mean I love my Apple Watch, but … it’s taken us into a jewelry market where you’re going to buy a watch between $500 or $1,100 based on how important you think you are as a person,” Mr. Wozniak said.
In an interview with Telegraph, FitBit CEO James Park indicated that Apple Watch’s problem was overkill, with too many potential uses that confuse consumers.
- Apple details gesture control for Apple Watch in patent filing – ZDNet
- Steve Wozniak explains his problem with the Apple Watch – VentureBeat
- Fitbit chief James Park: The Apple Watch ‘does too much’, confusing consumers – Telegraph
How might gesture-sensing technology in wearables be applied to retail marketing and selling efforts? Will gesture-sensing technology push Apple Watch adoption and should retailers plan on leveraging it?