Apple’s New Patents; an indication of entry into the VR and AR space

Apple’s New Patents; an indication of entry into the VR and AR space

Information about Apple’s plans to break into the Virtual Reality (VR)and Augmented Reality (AR) space is by no means a secret anymore. The five new patent applications that they have filed independently reveal these plans in detail showing how they intend to combine crisp imagery with high-quality audio. The patents were filed differently and they are products of different teams of investors.

Eric J. Hansotte, Guolin Peng, and four other investors who were a part of the “Optical Systems for Displays” patent team joined four other investors on the team for the “Waveguided Display Systems” patent. This patent highlights the possibility of head-mounted display devices being heavy on the nose and causing discomfort to users coupled with poor optical performance when electronic devices are used for display.

Apple will capitalize on keeping light levels between reality and AR more or less the same by embedding “beam splitter structures”. These structures will cause the light beams to be replicated across two dimensions. In the case of VR, the images viewed by the user as well as the lens through which they view the images are catered for by the device while AR requires that the images to be viewed be blended into reality.

The “Scanning Display Systems” is also one of the five patents which focus more on the image that is seen by the user, particularly in terms of the display resolution and optical brightness. In order to provide optimal features, the head-mounted displays are likely to be robust hence the cases would include thermal loads and drop shock. A maximum image resolution will be a result of a large reflective area using scanning mirrors in an optical system.

AR will afford the users the advantage of seeing beyond the scope of the head-mounted display.  With this, they’d be able to see the controllers while using the application. The “Tracking and Drift Correction” patent authored by inventor Mohamed Selim Ben seeks to assist with that. The inability of existing systems to display the controllers make it the experience a little more difficult for the user.

The “Display Devices With Multimodal Audio” is the patent concerned with what the user hears. The earpieces that will come with these devices will enable sound adjustment in accordance with the given environment at a time. The team involved includes Neal D. Evans, Robert D. Silvast, and Christopher T. Eubank. Apple also has in view the creation of a head-mounted display device that can be used whether it is worn on the head or not.