Apple has filed for a patent (number 20230055013 A1) for “accessory detection and determination for avatar enrollment” for the “Reality Pro,” the rumored augmented reality/virtual reality head-mounted display.
About the patent filing
The patent filing involves techniques for improved three-dimensional (3D) object model matching for objects (e.g., personal accessories) identified in two-dimensional (2D) images, e.g., when matching objects of interest identified in enrollment images of individual users captured during a 3D avatar creation or customization process.
An “avatar,” as used in the Apple patent filing, may refer to a visual representation of an individual user of a device (or their alter ego) in a virtual environment. An avatar often takes the form of a three-dimensional (3D) model used in computer games or a two-dimensional (2D) icon or picture. Avatars are increasingly used in online social networking, gaming, and/or other online communications, typically as a surrogate for an actual photograph of the user.
Avatars can offer a measure of privacy, while still allowing the users to have control over their online identities. Apple wants users of its devices to be able to customize their own avatars to show physical characteristics that reflect the actual appearances of the users. What’s more, the users should also customize their avatars with various accessories, such as clothing items, eyeglasses, headwear, and more, which can reflect the users’ individual styles, fashion tastes, and/or real-life appearances.
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “Devices, methods, and non-transitory program storage devices (NPSDs) are disclosed herein to allow individual users an opportunity to create customized instances of three-dimensional (3D) avatars, wherein each instance of the avatar may be customized to have particular visual characteristics and/or accessories that may reflect an individual user’s appearance.
“When images are captured, e.g., during an individual user’s avatar enrollment or customization process, novel shape matching techniques may be employed between two-dimensional (2D) objects of interest (e.g., eyeglasses frames) identified in the enrollment image and 3D models stored in one or more 3D model object libraries. A ranked listing of 3D models from an object library that provide the best shape matches to the identified 2D objects of interest in the captured image may automatically be determined and/or presented to the user for selection, e.g., via a user interface, for use in the creation and/or customization of the user’s 3D avatar.”
About the RealityPro
When it comes to the so-called “RealityPro,” the rumors are abundant. Such a device will arrive this year. Or 2025, Or 2026. 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 Reality Pro may or may not have to be tethered to an iPhone to work. Other rumors say that it could have a custom-build Apple chip and a dedicated operating system dubbed “rOS” for “reality operating system.” Or perhaps “xrOS” for extended reality operating system.