Apple wants you to be able to add or remove folks from a CGR experience on its devices

Whether it’s for “Apple Glasses” — the rumored  augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality head-mounted display (HMD) — or computer-generated reality (CGR) scenes/apps on an iPad, iPhone, or Mac, Apple wants users to have the ability to remove or add another person from/to such a scene.

To this purpose, Apple has filed for a patent (number 20210134067) for “identify-based inclusion/exclusion in a computer-generated reality experience.” In the patent filing, a CGR environment refers to a wholly or partially simulated environment that people sense and/or interact with via an electronic system. In CGR, a subset of a person’s physical motions, or representations thereof, are tracked, and, in response, one or more characteristics of one or more virtual objects simulated in the CGR environment are adjusted in a manner that comports with at least one law of physics. 

For example, a CGR system may detect a person’s head turning and, in response, adjust graphical content and an acoustic field presented to the person in a manner similar to how such views and sounds would change in a physical environment. In some situations (e.g., for accessibility reasons), adjustments to characteristic(s) of virtual object(s) in a CGR environment may be made in response to representations of physical motions (e.g., vocal commands). 

A person may sense and/or interact with a CGR object using any one of their senses, including sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. For example, a person may sense and/or interact with audio objects that create 3D or spatial audio environment that provides the perception of point audio sources in 3D space. In another example, audio objects may enable audio transparency, which selectively incorporates ambient sounds from the physical environment with or without computer-generated audio. 

In some CGR environments, a person may sense and/or interact only with audio objects rather than other people. Also, Apple says that, while a device is presenting a CGR experience to a user in an environment, representations of people within the physical environment may be altered. 

For example, in a multiplayer gaming experience, people other than the user may be presented as monsters or donning battle armor. However, in various circumstances, it may be undesirable for all people to be included in the CGR experience. For example, it may be undesirable for a user’s children or safety personnel to be displayed in an altered manner. To improve the CGR experience, Apple has disclosed in its patent filing implementations to determine the identity of a person detected in the environment and include or exclude the person based on the identity. 

Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “In one implementation, a method of including a person in a CGR experience or excluding the person from the CGR experience is performed by a device including one or more processors, non-transitory memory, and a scene camera. The method includes, while presenting a CGR experience, capturing an image of scene; detecting, in the image of the scene, a person; and determining an identity of the person. The method includes determining, based on the identity of the person, whether to include the person in the CGR experience or exclude the person from the CGR experience. The method includes presenting the CGR experience based on the determination.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.