‘Apple Glasses’ could have haptic features, a controller, and much more

Apple has filed for various patents regarding its upcoming “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality headset (or perhaps a more traditional glasses-like design).

Perhaps the most interesting is patent filing number 20210081047 for a “Head-Mounted Display [HMD] With Haptic Output” that involves an HMD that includes a display, haptic (that is, touch) output devices, and a controller. The display unit is configured to be worn on a head of a user and includes a display for providing graphical output to the user. \The haptic output devices are coupled to the display unit. The controller that processes directional inputs, determines directional haptic output according to the directional inputs, and controls the haptic output devices to provide the directional haptic output.

The idea is to allow the HMD to offer the user control of graphical content such as  conventional movie, a virtual environment of a game or simulator (discussed below), a productivity program (e.g., word processor or spreadsheet), among others, as well as sounds, such as those occurring in the movie, the virtual environment, or the productivity program. 

Patent filing number 20210082196 is for a “method and device for presenting an audio and synthesized reality experience.” 

Patent filing number 20210084332 is for “versatile tile coding for multi-view video streaming.” Apple Multi-view video applications are expected to become an emerging application for consumer electronic systems. Multi-view video may deliver an immersive viewing experience by displaying video in a manner that emulates a view space in multiple directions (ideally, every direction) about a viewer. 

Viewers, however, typically view content from a small portion of the view space, which causes content at other locations to go unused during streaming and display. Apple wants to make sure that this doesn’t happen with its “Apple Glasses” devices.

Patent filing number 20210080746 is for a “head-mounted device with an adjustment mechanism.” This is to make the HMD more comfortable via an adjustment mechanism that allows the user to change the distance between the two lenses so that the lenses are approximately aligned with respect to the user’s eyes. 

Patent filing number 20210080680 is for “lens mounting systems for electronic devices.” This relates to the durability of the HMD and features to prevent lens (which could be interchangeable) from popping out if the device is, for instance, dropped.

Apple has also filed for three patents (number 20210081039, 20210081040, and 20210081038) for eye-tracking features of an HMD. The goal is to make sure that AR/VR/MR images and synthesized reality (SR) audio are in perfect sync.

When it comes to Apple Glasses, such a device will arrive this year or 2022, depending on which rumor you believe. The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks Apple will at least preview it before the end of the year. 

It will be a head-mounted display. Or may have a design like “normal” glasses. Or it may be eventually be available in both. The Apple Glasses may or may not have to be tethered to an iPhone to work. Other rumors say that Apple Glasses could have a custom-build Apple chip and a dedicated operating system dubbed “rOS” for “reality operating system.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher 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.