Apple has been reportedly working on AR (Augmented Reality) headsets for quite some time now, and the company is all about innovation, so we’ve seen multiple patents on how it plans to improve AR headsets. Its new patent talks about improved object tracking and added convenience of wireless charging.
While there are plenty of AR and VR headsets in the market, from multiple brands, Apple could make its AR headset a unique offering by adding dozens of new features, improvements, and convenience factors. Going by a bunch of new patents from the company, it has been working on a solution to add an easy way to charge an AR headset.
The iPhone maker plans to add wireless charging to its future AR headset by adding coils and magnets (for alignment) to the back of the device. The device can be placed on top of a wireless charging stand, making it easier to not only charge the headset but also offer it a stylish way to store and flaunt the device.
Since an AR or VR headset is worn by users for a long period of time, comfort is one of the factors based on which users decide which headset to buy. Apple’s patent describes a way to include adjustable support structures near the forehead and cheeks. These structures can be adjusted for length as well as angle so that users with different head shapes can attain comfort. The solution also includes flexible cables and cushions.
Some current-generation AR and VR headsets use camera-based or laser-based systems to detect surrounding objects in the real world. However, such solutions are not always accurate, so Apple proposes ultrasonic sensors for more accurate object detection.
Those sensors could beam out ultrasonic waves, which travel towards the surroundings and bounce back to the headset. Based on the time the ultrasonic waves return, distance and position of nearby objects can be calculated and conveyed to the user. This system can also be used in collaboration with a camera-based system to show a user scene of the real world.
Display and lenses are the main components of any AR or VR headset. Since not every user has the same vision, lenses are usually adjustable, so brands offer adjustable lenses in headsets. Apple’s solution includes attaching the lenses to the display, but with clear adhesive or gel-based lenses. A direct attachment could remove air gaps and chances of dust accumulating inside the headset.
There could be two separate lenses, which could be adjusted independently, so users who have different focal lengths of different eyes can accurately adjust them. This system also reduces the complexity of the system and reduces manufacturing costs.
While Apple is working on hardware design, filing patents, and develop software (ARKit), the company’s AR headset might not be released for the next couple of years. We’ve seen this tendency from Apple to not rush things to the market unless it brings something new and easy to use at the same time.
An adjustable support structure for a more comfortable experience and wireless charging for added convenience can be the two important differentiating factors for Apple’s AR/MR headset. Additionally, the company’s ecosystem and apps/games made for the headset could attract people.
Which features do you wish are included in a future AR headset from Apple? Let us know your wishes and expectations via comments![Sources: USPTO, USPTO, USPTO, USPTO]