Apple has filed for a patent (number 11488352) for “modeling a geographical space for a computer-generated reality experience.” It involves the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/mixed reality headset.
About the patent filing
In the patent filing, Apple notes that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are becoming more popular due to their remarkable ability to alter a user’s perception of the world. For example, VR and AR are used for learning purposes, gaming purposes, content creation purposes, social media and interaction purposes, or the like.
These technologies differ in the user’s perception of his/her presence. VR transposes the user into a virtual space so that a VR perception of the user is different from a real-world perception of the user. In contrast, AR adds something to the user’s real-world perception.
Apple says that these technologies are becoming more commonplace due to, for example, miniaturization of hardware components, improvements to hardware performance, and improvements to software efficiency. As one example, a user may experience VR content by using a head-mounted device (HMD) that encloses the user’s field-of-view and is tethered to a computer.
As another example, a user may experience AR content by wearing an HMD that enables the user to see his/her surroundings (e.g., glasses with optical see-through features). As yet another example, a user may experience on a handheld display (e.g., an AR-enabled mobile phone or tablet) AR content superimposed on a live video feed of the user’s environment.
When it comes to Apple Glasses, Apple wants its device to offer an excellent computer-generated reality (CGR) experience, and, in particular, to modeling a geographical space for a CGR experience.
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “Various implementations disclosed herein include devices, systems, and methods for modeling a geographical space for a computer-generated reality (CGR) experience. In some implementations, a method is performed by a device including a non-transitory memory and one or more processors coupled with the non-transitory memory. In some implementations, the method includes obtaining a set of images.
“In some implementations, the method includes providing the set of images to an image classifier that determines whether the set of images correspond to a geographical space. In some implementations, the method includes establishing correspondences between at least a subset of the set of images in response to the image classifier determining that the subset of images correspond to the geographical space. In some implementations, the method includes synthesizing a model of the geographical space based on the correspondences between the subset of images.”
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.”