Apple doesn’t want users of the rumored “Apple Glasses” — an augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality head-mounted display — bumping into things. The tech giant has filed for a patent (number 20200258278) for “detecting physical boundaries.”
It involves techniques for alerting a user immersed in a virtual reality environment to physical obstacles in their physical environment are disclosed. In the patent filing, Apple notes that a user may become so immersed in a virtual environment that, while moving about the virtual environment, the user collides with adjacent physical objects in the physical environment.
For example, while wearing a virtual reality head mounted device, a user may move about a large (virtual) room in virtual reality, but in the process, collide with a physical wall of the physical room in which the user is physically located. And, hey, Apple doesn’t want you to get hurt.
When it comes to Apple Glasses, such a device will arrive next year or 2022, depending on which rumor you believe. It will be a head-mounted display. Or may have a design like “normal” glasses. Or it may 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.”