Apple has filed for a patent (number 20210263584) for “tracking and drift correction.” It involves the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD).
About the patent filing
In the patent filing, Apple says that, to enable user interactions with electronic content, it may be desirable to enable a user to provide input via a separate real-world device, such as the touch screen of a separate mobile device. However, the tech giant says that existing systems are unable to adequately track the locations of such separate devices relative to the content providing devices. This means they’re unable to adequately track the locations of such separate devices relative to the content providing devices. And they’re unable to display such separate devices or representations of them to guide the users’ interactions.
For example, a user wearing a HMD presenting a CGR environment would need to see a representation of his mobile phone in the CGR environment in order to use the touch screen of the mobile phone as an input device. However, without being able to accurately, consistently, and efficiently track the relative location of the mobile phone to the HMD, the representation of the mobile phone can’t displayed at locations in the CGR environment corresponding to the real-world locations. Apple doesn’t want this to be an issue with its Apple Glasses.
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “Some implementations provide improved user interfaces for interacting with a virtual environment. The virtual environment is presented by a display of a first device having an image sensor. The first device uses the image sensor to determine a relative position and orientation of a second device based on a marker displayed on a display of the second device. The first device uses the determined relative position of the second device to display a representation of the second device including virtual content in place of the marker.”
About Apple Glasses
When it comes to Apple Glasses, such a device will arrive in 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.”