Samsung filed a patent for wearable tech that provides haptic feedback optimized for each body part

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The US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Samsung on May 23rd that relates to wearable tech with haptic feedback.

According to this invention, a smartphone outputs haptic feedback depending on positions on which the wearable devices are placed and also on vibration characteristic of each wearable device.

Samsung notes in its filing that wearable devices may be placed on various positions on the body of the user.

For example, the wearable devices may be placed on various positions such as the wrist, the upper or lower arm, the shoulder, the neck, the waist, the chest, the head, the ankle, the sole of foot, the upper or lower portion of a leg, etc.

The wearable devices placed on various positions of the body may include, for example, a smart watch, smart glasses, a wrist band, a piece of smart clothing, a device fitted in a shoe, or the like.

Haptic feedback based on position information of the wearable device

In one aspect of Samsung’s disclosure, an electronic device (smartphone) may include a communication circuit to communicate with at least one wearable device, and at least one processor electrically connected with the communication circuit.

The processor may be configured to obtain position information on a position on which the wearable device is placed on a user’s body, and to transmit a control signal to the wearable device through the communication circuit such that, when an output of a haptic pattern specified based on a function is requested, the wearable device outputs a haptic feedback corresponding to the position information and the specified haptic pattern.

As described above, the smartphone may output various haptic feedback depending on positions on which the wearable devices are placed, thereby outputting haptic feedback optimized for each body part of the user.

Haptic feedback based on vibration characteristics of the wearable device

In addition, the electronic device outputs haptic feedback optimized based on vibration characteristic of each wearable device.

The smartphone may generate a control signal for controlling the wearable device based on the information regarding the actuator, such as vibration characteristic of the actuator, whether the actuator is a linear resonance actuator (LRA), an eccentric rotating mass (ERM) vibration motor, a DC motor, etc.

The control signal may then be transmitted to the wearable device so that the wearable device outputs haptic feedback having a specific haptic pattern.

The wearable device may then output the haptic feedback having the specific haptic pattern in response to receiving the control signal.

Samsung’s patent FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B shown below illustrate an operating environment of the electronic device

Samsung’s patent FIG. 3A shown below is a flowchart illustrating a haptic operating method for an electronic device depending on positions of the wearable devices

Samsung’s patent FIG. 3B shown below is a flowchart illustrating a haptic operating method for an electronic device depending on vibration characteristics of the wearable devices

Samsung’s patent publication number is 20190155388 and it was filed on November 19th, 2018.

Wearable tech with haptic feedback is evolving very quickly. Haptic feedback is already a basic feature in many smartwatches, activity trackers and smart bands.

It is unknown at this point of time when Samsung will actually be using this wearable tech in its products.

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