Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,803,666) for a “method and device for synchronizing augmented reality coordinate systems.” It involves the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality head-mounted display (HMD). In fact, this patent touches upon interaction of multiple users wearing such a device.
In the patent data, Apple notes that, while providing an augmented reality experience to a user in an environment, an augmented reality coordinate system is used to map the environment, track the user’s location in the environment, and present virtual objects in the environment. However, when multiple users are present in the environment, each user maintains their own augmented reality coordinate system, complicating the sharing of the augmented reality experience amongst the multiple users. Apple wants to facilitate this process.
Here’s the summary of the patent: “n one implementation, a method, performed at a first electronic device with one or more processors, a display, and one or more input devices, includes obtaining, for a reference location in a three-dimensional space, first reference coordinates in an augmented reality coordinate system of the first electronic device. The method includes obtaining, for the reference location in the three-dimensional space, second reference coordinates based on transformation data received from a second electronic device.
“The method includes determining a coordinate transformation based on the first reference coordinates and the second reference coordinates. The method includes synchronizing the augmented reality coordinate system of the first electronic device with an augmented reality coordinate system of the second electronic device using the coordinate transformation.”
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.”