Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11733959 B2) for “physical companion devices for use with extended reality systems” such as the upcoming Vision Pro.
The US$3,499 (and up) “spatial computer” was previewed at June’s Worldwide Developer Conference. However, it won’t be available until early 2024 — and, then, apparently only in limited quantities. Apple’s patent involves the Vision Pro also being able to interact with iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more.
About the patent
The Vision Pro sounds pretty cool, but it’s going to need accessories. It will need an external battery pack and gaming controls, for example.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “Implementations of the subject technology provide a small, portable physical object for use in an extended reality system. The system may include a device that allows a user/wearer to interact with virtual representations of content such as stored data and/or applications overlaid on the user’s physical environment.
“The object has a unique identifier that is obtainable by the device or another device. The object may be an inactive device without any internal circuitry, a passive device with circuitry that is activated by another device, or an active device having its own processing circuitry and/or a display housed in the body of the object. The object can be associated with content displayed by the device to provide a user with a physical object that can be moved or manipulated to move, modify, transport, or store the content generated, stored, and/or displayed in an extended reality environment.”