If/when the rumored “Apple Glasses” arrive, I want the augmented reality/virtual reality device to allow me to wear it like regular glasses, improving my nearsightedness as my “ordinary” glasses do and even give me improved vision.
And perhaps it will. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20200341563) for a “head-mounted display with low light operation.” Yep, it says head-mounted display, but I’m hoping for something less bulky and built for all-day wear.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that human eyes have different sensitivity in different lighting conditions. For example, scotopic vision is human vision with low levels of ambient light such as at night with overcast skies (e.g., with no moonlight). In poorly lit conditions, such as when relying on scotopic vision, a person is less able to view the environment than in well lit conditions. Apple’s idea seems to be that Apple Glasses would help overcome this limitation.
Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “The head-mounted display includes a display, a head support coupled to the display for supporting the display on a head of a user to be viewed by the user, and sensors coupled to the head support for sensing an environment from the head-mounted display unit in low light. The sensors include one or more of an infrared sensor for sensing the environment with infrared electromagnetic radiation, or a depth sensor for sensing distances to objects of the environment, and also include an ultrasonic sensor for sensing the environment with ultrasonic sound waves. The controller determines graphical content according to the sensing of the environment with the one or more of the infrared sensor or the depth sensor and with the ultrasonic sensor, and operates the display to provide the graphical content concurrent with the sensing of the environment.”
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.”