Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,276,143) for “error concealment for a head-mountable device.” It involves making the the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality system, as comfortable as possible.
About the patent
A head-mountable device is a display device that is worn on or around the head of a user. Head-mountable devices are available in a variety of different form factors. For example, some head-mountable devices resemble a helmet, whereas other head-mountable devices resemble a pair of eyeglasses.
Most head-mountable devices include at least one display that the user can view when the head-mountable device is worn by the user. Some head-mountable devices include multiple displays. For example, some head-mountable devices include two displays, one for each eye. Head-mountable devices have a variety of applications. For example, head-mountable devices are often used in gaming, aviation, engineering and medicine.
In the patent data, Apple notes that since a head-mountable device is in such close proximity to the user when the head-mountable device is being used, the amount of heat that the device generates may need to be controlled. The amount of heat that it generates typically correlates to the amount of power consumed by the head-mountable device.
As such, the amount of power that the head-mountable device consumes may need to be controlled. Typically, the amount of power consumed by a head-mountable device depends on the hardware and/or software capabilities of the head-mountable device.
For example, a head-mountable device with higher processing power, a larger memory and/or a faster refresh rate typically consumes more power than a head-mountable device with lower processing power, a smaller memory and/or a slower refresh rate.
However, limiting the hardware and/or software capabilities of the head-mountable device usually hampers performance of the head-mountable device and/or degrades the user experience. Apple wants its Apple Glasses to be powerful AND comfortable.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent with some technical details: “In various implementations, a method includes obtaining a first frame that is characterized by a first resolution associated with a first memory allocation. In some implementations, the method includes down-converting the first frame from the first resolution to a second resolution that is lower than the first resolution initially defining the first frame in order to produce a reference frame.
“In some implementations, the second resolution is associated with a second memory allocation that is less than a target memory allocation derived from the first memory allocation. In some implementations, the method includes storing the reference frame in a non-transitory memory. In some implementations, the method includes obtaining a second frame that is characterized by the first resolution. In some implementations, the method includes performing an error correction operation on the second frame based on the reference frame stored in the non-transitory memory.”
About Apple Glasses
When it comes to Apple Glasses, such a device will arrive in late 2022 or 2023, depending on which rumor you believe. 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.”