Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,986,330) for a “method and system for 360 degree head-mounted display monitoring between software program modules using video or image texture sharing.” It involves the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality head-mounted display.
In the patent data, Apple notes that conventional 180 degree or 360 degree video and/or images are stored in flat storage formats using equirectangular or cubic projections to represent spherical space. However, if these videos and/or images are edited in conventional editing or graphics applications, the company says it can be difficult for the user to interpret the experience of the final result when the video or images are distributed and presented in a dome projection, cubic, or mapped spherically within HMD.
Apple says that editing and manipulating such images in these flat projections requires special skill and much trial and error. What’s more, it’s not an uncommon experience to realize after manipulation of images or videos composited or edited with spherical that subsequent shots are misaligned, or stereoscopic parallax points do not match in a natural way. Apple’s invention is designed to overcome such issues.
Here’s the summary of the invention: “Presenting an image preview includes receiving image data from a GPU buffer, wherein the GPU buffer is associated with a media manipulation application, obtaining an orientation data for a display device, rendering a preview image using the image data and the orientation data, and displaying the preview image using the display device, wherein the preview image is displayed while the image data is utilized by the media manipulation application, and wherein the preview image is dynamically modified when the image data is modified by the media manipulation application.”
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.”