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Apple patent filing hints at ‘Apple Glasses’ with supplemental lens

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20200033560) that suggests the rumored “Apple Glasses” — an augmented reality (AR) head-mounted display (HMD) — could offer optional supplemental lens for those with vision problems.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that ectronic devices are sometimes configured to be worn by users. For example, head-mounted devices are provided with head-mounted structures that allow the devices to be worn on users’ heads. The head-mounted devices may include optical systems with lenses. The lenses allow displays in the devices to present visual content to users. 

However, some users of head-mounted devices have visual defects such as myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, or presbyopia. It can be challenging to ensure that an optical system in a head-mounted device operates satisfactorily for these users. Apple says that “if care isn’t taken, it may be difficult or impossible for a user with visual defects to focus properly on content that is being displayed.”

The Apple Glasses will arrive this year, next year, or 2021, depending on which rumor your believe. It 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.”

Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “A head-mounted device may have a display that displays content for a user. Head-mounted support structures in the device support the device on the head of the user. A non-removable lens system may be supported by the head-mounted support structures. The head-mounted support structures may be configured to receive a removable supplemental lens system. The removable supplemental lens system may be used to customize the head-mounted display to accommodate the user’s vision. 

“Information such as information on the optical characteristics of the removable supplemental lens system and the user’s eyeglass prescription may be stored in the removable supplemental lens system using bar codes, text, programmable memory, or other data storage. When the removable supplemental lens system is installed in the head-mounted device, control circuitry in the head-mounted device may retrieve the stored information. A gaze tracker system or other sensors may be used in retrieving the stored information.”

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.