Apple has been granted a patent (number 11838495 B1) for “Electronic Devices With Vision Correcting Displays.” It involves the upcoming Vision Pro.
The US$3,499 (and higher) Spatial Computer is due in early 2024, though that likely means March at the earliest. And it apparently will only be available in limited quantities at first
About the patent
It’s not clear exactly how fitting prescription lens on the Vision Pro will work. How much will they cost? Will they be removable?
In the patent filing, Apple notes that most folks become presbyopic with age. After age 50, a typical person will exhibit less than one diopter of accommodative range. People need clear distance vision to navigate the world and perform tasks such as driving, so refractive vision errors are corrected to make distant objects appear sharp.
To view a close object such as the display on an electronic device, a user must use reading glasses (in the case of a person with naturally good distance vision, contacts, or laser surgery) or must use bifocals. This can make display viewing cumbersome. Apple is looking into ways to overcome this issue with the Vision Pro.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “An electronic device may provide visual content at a virtual image distance that is farther from a user than the physical distance of the device from the user. A display in the device may have a transmissive spatial light modulator and beam steering device that are illuminated by a plane wave illumination system to provide computer-generated hologram images, may have a waveguide-based system that ensures that image content is presented at a desired virtual image distance, or may be a light-field display.
“The display may be used to display a left image in a left eye box and a right image in a right eye box. When viewed from the eye boxes, the left and right images fuse and are visible at a virtual image distance that is farther from the user than the distance physically separating the eye boxes from the display.”