Apple has filed for a patent (number 20190377181) for “optical systems for displays” that hints the company is working on ways to make the rumored “Apple Glasses” as lightweight and comfortable as possible.
Depending on which rumor, you believe the device will arrive in 2020. Or 2021. Or 2020. It’s likely to be tethered to an iPhone. Other reports have claimed that the Apple Glasses could have a custom-build Apple chip and a dedicated operating system dubbed “rOS” for “reality operating system.”
In the new patent filing, the tech giant notes that a HMD may have one or more near-eye displays that produce images for a user. The device may be a pair of virtual reality glasses or may be an augmented reality headset that allows a viewer to view both computer-generated images and real-world objects in the viewer’s surrounding environment.
The HMD can be a bit bulky. Apple is considering a system that transfer light from an optical system to the user’s eyes. The “waveguide” replaces the displays, and is used to project an image into the user’s eyes with the redirected light.
Here’s the summary of the invention: “An electronic device may include a display system for presenting images close to a user’s eyes. The display system may include a display unit that directs light and an optical system that redirects the light from the display unit towards a user’s eyes. The optical system may include an input coupler and an output coupler formed on a waveguide.
“The input coupler may redirect light from the display unit so that it propagates in the waveguide towards the output coupler. The output coupler may redirect the light from the input coupler so that it exits the waveguide towards the user’s eyes. A light-redirecting element may be used to redirect edge light that would otherwise be outside of the user’s field of view towards the user’s eyes.”