Apple won patents this week for a mixed reality headset with a unique 3-screen setup to cover peripheral vision and more

Apple won patents this week for a mixed reality headset with a unique 3-screen setup to cover peripheral vision and more

Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent for a possible future mixed reality headset with three internal displays. What’s new is that Apple is considering adding two lower-resolution “peripheral screens” located on both the right and left sides of the central display area to provide a more natural, immersive experience when watching movies. content like a game. This is something other headsets on the market lack today. A second patent granted this week outlines how AR/VR hand controllers could adopt a combination of buttons and the touchpad now on the Apple TV 4K remote.

In Apple’s patent history, they note that challenges can arise when presenting virtual reality content to a user. If we are not careful, display structures used to present content will not cover the user’s peripheral vision, which will detract from the immersive nature of the user’s virtual reality experience.

The patent issued by Apple covers a head-mounted device that provides a display. The headset can be used to display virtual reality content for a user. To enhance user immersion in the content being presented, the display may have a peripheral portion that covers the user’s peripheral vision.

The peripheral display part may use individual LEDs or other pixels that have a lower density and display content at a lower resolution than the central portion of the screen. Since the visual acuity of the user is reduced at the periphery of the visual field of the user, the reduction in the resolution of the peripheral display part compared to the central part will not be noticeable by the user .

The presence of content in the peripheral display will help cover all parts of a user’s vision and therefore enhance the immersive effect of the head-mounted device when the head-mounted device is used to present reality content virtual to the user.

Additionally, the headset may contain a gaze tracking system that monitors a user’s eyes within the eyepiece boxes to gather information about the gaze direction of the user’s eyes. During operation, control circuitry in the electronic device may use gaze direction information to adjust peripheral content on the peripheral portion to correct for parallax-induced shift between peripheral content and central content on the central portion of the display. The control circuit may also reduce the power of peripheral pixels that are determined to be invisible based on the gaze direction information.

Diffuser structures can be used to help mask the boundary between the central and peripheral display portions. Diffuser structures can be formed from lens holder structures that support the lenses or from a separate diffuser layer. A neutral density filter can be used to reduce pixel brightness in the peripheral display portion. Pulse-width modulation schemes can also be used to regulate pixel intensity.

Apple’s patent FIG. 10 below is a front view of an illustrative display showing regions with content that can be extended over peripheral display portions to obscure the interfaces between the central and peripheral display portions; FIG. 11 is a top view of an illustrative display showing how the pixels of the display can be selectively dimmed or otherwise adjusted depending on the direction of gaze.

Apple’s patent FIG. 14 above shows how center display #14C and/or peripheral display #14P can be formed from rigid display panels (eg, planar panels). Display #14C can be, for example, a flexible display or a rigid display formed from a rigid substrate. Display 14P may be, for example, a printed circuit board (eg, a rigid printed circuit board formed from a rigid printed circuit board material such as fiberglass filled epoxy) on which individual LEDs for #24P pixels have been mounted.

Apple’s patent FIG. 15 above shows how the #24P pixels in the #14P peripheral portion can be mounted on a molded polymer support structure or other support structure with a curved inner surface profile (support structure #86).

For more details see the patent granted by Apple 11,450,297

Apple inventors

David Lu: Senior System Architect (19 year veteran)

Shubham Gandhi: Hardware engineer, screens

Tyler Milhem: Mechanical design engineer

The profiles of Apple engineers William Sprague and Pretesh Mascarenhas cannot be found.

Continuous touch input across multiple independent surfaces

Apple was also granted a patent on Tuesday that primarily covers the new Apple TV remote sold with their 4K box. So technically it’s a patent filled.

However, buried in the patent is a small patent dot which states, as with most patents, that the invention is not limited to an Apple TV remote. Apple states in patent item #0031: “Figures 1A-1C illustrate various examples of controller devices (#100, #102, and #104) for providing remote control to another electronic device such as, for example, a a separate computing device, display screen (eg, television or computer monitor), or device connected to a display screen (eg, digital video disc (DVD) player, BLU player -RAY(R)an augmented reality (AR) device, a virtual reality (VR) devicean Internet-connected streaming device (e.g., APPLE TV(R), laptop or desktop computer), game console, similar devices, and combinations thereof).

3 Apple Remote Control patent - Patently Apple Patent report

Although at present this is a hint from Apple’s engineering team and nothing more, it is an interesting and timely hint that was not part of the previous ones Apple TV remote patents. For more information see issued patent 20220291778

Many Apple fans are already familiar with the touchpad that was part of the original iPods and is now part of the 4K remote. So that would kind of be a natural methodology to adopt.

Apple could easily define action buttons with their touchpad for gaming handset controllers for their future mixed reality headset, if that was the direction Apple decided to take. Overall, Apple’s patents have shown us that their engineering teams are working on various possible accessories for their headset, including rings, finger devices, and sensor-filled VR gloves. Only time will tell which accessories Apple will introduce at launch.

10.52FX - Patent Bar Granted


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