A new Huawei patent has cropped up on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website that appears to describe a new method for detecting whether or not a wearable is being worn or taken off. Oddly enough, there aren’t really any drawings or images associated with the patent – filed internationally under publication number WO/2018/053677. There are, however, descriptions of how the method works and a general idea of what it is intended to do. Primarily, the patented idea pertains to a sensor array comprised of two sensors that detect whether or not a wearable is currently being worn by anybody. The patent was initially filed back in 2016 before finally being published today.
Delving a bit deeper into the WIPO patent’s contents reveals that Huawei’s method utilizes two separate capacitive touch sensors. For clarity, those appear to be the same kind of technology ordinarily embedded underneath the glass in a smartphone or tablet’s display. However, these are intended to work in tandem rather than separately. Moreover, they won’t necessarily be detecting a single touch point. Instead, the patent describes a process by which a “measurement value” can be taken from the first sensor and then compared to the same from the second sensor. By determining whether or not one value is higher than the other, the wearable can decide whether or not the wearable is currently being worn. Beyond that, the patent effectively only says that utilizing the method will reduce power consumption of the wearable in question.
Adding to the mystery of the patent, and bearing in mind the fact that getting a patent approved doesn’t mean it will be used, there’s no indication whatsoever as to what kind of device this would be used for. Since it’s used for detecting a state of being worn or otherwise, this could easily be used in any of the current wearable technologies on the market. So this could be for something as mundane or common as a VR or AR headset, or for something like a smartwatch or fitness band. The possibilities are seemingly endless. Suffice it to say, this will likely remain unclear until Huawei decides to make some form of an official announcement about it – if it ever does at all.