Apple has filed for a patent (number 20210042010) for a “3D document editing system” that would work with the rumored “Apple Glasses” and a keypad (or iPad). It would allow you to manipulate virtual training apps, games, and view movies, among other things.
In the patent data, Apple notes that conventional graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for text generation and editing systems work in a two-dimensional (2D) space (e.g., a 2D screen or page on a screen). Highlighting areas or portions of text using these GUIs typically involves adding some effect in 2D such as bold or italics text, underlining, or coloring.
Of course, virtual reality (VR) allows users to experience and/or interact with an immersive artificial three-dimensional (3D) environment. For example, VR systems may display stereoscopic scenes to users in order to create an illusion of depth, and a computer may adjust the scene content in real-time to provide the illusion of the user interacting within the scene.
Similarly, augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) combine computer generated information with views of the real world to augment, or add content to, a user’s view of their environment. The simulated environments of VR and/or the enhanced content of AR/MR could be utilized to provide an interactive user experience for multiple applications, such as interacting with virtual training environments, gaming, remotely controlling drones or other mechanical systems, viewing digital media content, interacting with the Internet, or the like.
Conventional VR, AR, and MR systems may allow content consumers to view and interact with content in a 3D environment. They may provide tools and applications that allow VR content creators to create and edit 3D objects, and may provide a text generation and editing system with a conventional 2D GUI that allows content creators to generate text content that can be attached to 3D objects. However, Apple says these conventional VR systems typically don’t provide text generation and editing systems with GUIs that allow content creators to generate and edit text with 3D effects in a VR 3D environment. The tech giant’s solution is Apple Glasses used in conjunction with a keyboard or iPad.
Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “A 3D document editing system and graphical user interface (GUI) that includes a virtual reality and/or augmented reality device and an input device (e.g., keyboard) that implements sensing technology for detecting gestures by a user. Using the system, portions of a document can be placed at or moved to various Z-depths in a 3D virtual space provided by the VR device to provide 3D effects in the document.
“The sensing technology may allow the user to make gestures while entering text via a keypad, thus allowing the user to specify 3D effects in the document while typing. The system may also monitor entries made using the keypad, apply rules to the entries to detect particular types of entries such as URLs, and automatically shift the detected types of entries forward or backward on the Z axis relative to the rest of the content in the document.”
When it comes to Apple Glasses, such a device will arrive this year or 2022, depending on which rumor you believe. The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks Apple will at least preview it before the end of the year.
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.”