Innovation

Apple Teases New Wearable, iPhone Patents

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If recent patent applications are any indication, Apple could very well have some groundbreaking new products to debut. According to a report, the iPhone maker just patented a “finger-mounted device with sensors and haptics.” The device, which resembles a ring, is meant to connect with a smartphone or gaming console, and includes sensors and haptic feedback output devices.

The sensors can collect information on how hard someone presses against an object with a press, tap or swipe, and feedback is provided to confirm the action. The ring will also let a user take control of a virtual keyboard, and provide feedback similar to a physical one. With gaming consoles, users will be able to provide movement using only their fingers.

Apple also patented something that’s never been seen before: an all-glass phone. The new design is completely different than anything Apple has ever done, including iPads and Apple Watches. All of the electronic components will be inside a glass enclosure with end caps. The enclosure will have radio transparency elements so that the antennae can also be enclosed.

In other Apple news, last month the company hired a slew of medical doctors to help integrate health technologies into its Apple Watch, iPad and iPhone.

Citing two people familiar with the hiring, CNBC reported that Apple is also possibly working on developing applications to help people with serious medical problems. Sources have revealed that the company currently employs as many as 50 doctors, with many not disclosing their role at Apple.

Apple has hired the doctors not only to improve their technology, but also to defend against criticism. For example, the company hired orthopedic surgeon Sharat Kusuma to manage its partnership with medical device maker Zimmer Biomet, in an effort to determine whether Apple’s technology can help patients recover from knee and hip replacement surgeries. Sumbul Desai, a doctor from Stanford Medicine, is a top leader in the health group, working closely with COO Jeff Williams. Other notable doctors on staff include Mike Evans, a family medicine doctor on the special projects team, and Michael O’Reilly, an anesthesiologist who has been on the Apple team for almost six years.

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