On Sunday Patently Apple posted a report titled “Google’s Next Generation ‘Daydream’ VR Headset Surfaced in a Patent Filing this Week” In that report we showed the evolution of Google VR from a simple cardboard box through to its latest from factor that goes on sale this month and then point to what’s ahead as seen through their latest patent application that surfaced last week. Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple yet another head mounted display system patent that differs from their most recent patent application filed back in March.
Apple’s work on a video headset began in 2007, years ahead of Samsung’s Gear VR or Google’s new Daydreamer headset. While it’s always frustrating to see Apple’s competition rush to market with a patented idea that Apple has had on record for years, Apple usually thinks a product through before launching it. Apple worked on a modern digital pen for years before launching the Apple Pencil, but when they did, it provided users with more precision and virtually no lag time, beating their competition that had various pens/styluses on the market for years hands down. Yet with that said, here’s to hoping that Apple’s headset comes to market in the not-too-distant future.
In today’s granted patent the emphasis is place on a touch sensor that extends continuously along the eyeglass template that the user can use as a slide controller. One of the controls the touch sensor will control is the volume of the speakers within the headset. Apple’s patent never talks about AR or VR but rather three dimensional viewing of content.
Apple also describes a secondary control member “configured to be rotated by the user to adjust the system for a distance between the user’s eyes, wherein the control member is a knob, and wherein the knob is configured to adjust the system for the distance between the user’s eyes by adjusting a distance between the first image frame and the second image frame.”
More interestingly, Apple notes in patent claim #8 that “A system comprising: a head-mounted carrier; a display supported by the head-mounted carrier, wherein the display is configured to generate a first image frame for a first eye of a user and generate a second image frame for a second eye of the user; and a touch sensor on the head-mounted carrier, wherein the system is configured to receive a prescription from the user and modify the first and second image frames in response to the prescription and wherein the prescription is selected from a group consisting of: a glasses prescription and a contact lens prescription.”
Apple’s granted patent 9,482,869 was filed in Q1 2015 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Other Head Mounted Display system patents could be found in our Augmented Reality archives here. Apple’s first granted patent for a video headset was filed in 2007 and granted in 2009. Other reports of interest on this subject include: Apple’s ‘Secret’ VR Team isn’t that Secret Anymore and Apple’s Enthusiasm for Integrating Augmented Reality into Future Devices and Apps is Growing Louder.