Apple has filed for a patent (number 20220269338) for “augmented devices” that involves using“Apple Glasses” in tandem with Macs, iPads, and other devices.
About the patent filing
Apple Glasses are the rumored augmented reality/mixed reality head-mounted display (HMD) that Apple is almost certainly working on. The patent filing involves systems, methods, and devices that provide computer-generated reality (CGR) environments based on physical environments that include other electronic devices such as Macs and iPads.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that many electronic devices are configured with input and output capabilities. For example, a laptop computing device may include a display and a keyboard that are used to display content and receive user input, respectively. Similarly, a smart watch may include a touchscreen that both displays content and receives input. In another example, a smart home speaker device may be configured to produce audio output via a speaker and receive audible voice commands as input via a microphone.
Additional devices may be used to supplement the input and output capabilities of an electronic device. For example, a user may connect a larger monitor to a laptop or use an HMD to view a virtual screen corresponding to a laptop’s output (e.g., a virtual desktop).
However, Apple says that existing techniques that use one device to supplement the output or input capabilities of another device may be limited with respect to capability, usability, or efficiency. Apple wants its HMD to provide user experiences “that sufficiently augment the input and output capabilities” of its various devices.
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “Implementations use a first device (e.g., an HMD) to provide a CGR environment that augments the input and output capabilities of a second device, e.g., a laptop, smart speaker, etc. In some implementations, the first device communicates with a second device in its proximate physical environment to exchange input or output data. For example, an HMD may capture an image of a physical environment that includes a laptop.
“The HMD may detect the laptop, send a request the laptop’s content, receive content from the laptop (e.g., the content that the laptop is currently displaying and additional content), identify the location of the laptop, and display a virtual object with the received content in the CGR environment on or near the laptop. The size, shape, orientation, or position of the virtual object (e.g., a virtual monitor or monitor extension) may also be configured to provide a better user experience.”
About Apple Glasses
When it comes to Apple Glasses, the rumors are abundant. Such a device will arrive in mid-to-late 2023. Or maybe 2024. 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.”