Thursday, September 16, 2021
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Apple granted patent for ‘interactive screen projection’ for an Apple Car

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,117,535) for a “system and method for interactive screen projection” in a vehicle.

About the patent

In the patent, Apple says that many vehicles, especially current automobile designs, include some welcoming scenarios to approaching passengers. For example, many vehicles execute a sequence of blinking lights (such as through one or more hazard lights or headlights of the vehicle) when the vehicle receives a signal from an associated key fob. Other vehicles may unlock the doors of the vehicle and/or turn on the interior lights of the vehicle when the signal is received. However, Apple says that such displays are often passive displays preprogrammed to execute when the signal of the approaching passenger is received. What’s more, such displays are often limited to just a few display options utilizing the existing lighting systems used by the vehicle during operation. Apple thinks it can do better on a vehicle it develops.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “Aspects of the present disclosure involve projecting an interactive scene onto a surface from a projecting object. In one particular embodiment, the interactive scene is projected from a vehicle and may be utilized by the vehicle to provide a scene or image that a user may interact with through various gestures detected by the system. In addition, the interactive scene may be customized to one or more preferences determined by the system, such as user preferences, system preferences, or preferences obtained through feedback from similar systems. 

“Based on one or more user inputs (such as user gestures received at the system), the projected scene may be altered or new scenes may be projected. In addition, control over some aspects of the vehicle (such as unlocking of doors, starting of the motor, etc.) may be controlled through the interactive scene and the detected gestures of the users.”

When might we see an Apple Car?

The status of an Apple auto is unclear. On June 2, Bloomberg reported that Apple has lost “several” top managers from its “Apple Car” project. Here’s what the report says: Apple Inc. has lost multiple top managers of its self-driving car team in recent months, a sign of attrition at the division involved in what could become an important future product.

If an Apple Car ever arrives, it probably won’t arrive until 2024 at the earliest. In fact, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t expect it until at least 2025.The accompanying graphic illustrates a vehicle comprising a transparent surface which provides an augmented reality display that modifies occupant-perceived information presented by a sign located in the external environment.

The accompanying Apple Car mock-up comes from Teslarti.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.