Apple’s rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/mixed reality/virtual reality head-mounted display, may be able to not only immerse users in a computer-generated reality (CGR) environment, but record what is being viewed/experienced, per a new patent filing (number 20210073549) for a computer-generated reality recorder.”
A CGR system enables physical and virtual environments to be combined in varying degrees to facilitate interactions from a user in a real-time manner. Such a system can combine physical and virtual environments, including augmented reality (AR) that primarily includes physical elements and is closer to a physical environment than a virtual environment (e.g., without physical elements).
In this manner, a physical environment can be connected with a virtual environment by the CGR system. A user immersed in an CGR environment can navigate through such an environment and the CGR system can track the user’s viewpoint to provide a visualization based on how the user is situated in the environment.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that there are many different types of electronic systems that enable a person to sense and/or interact with various CGR environments. Examples include mobile devices, tablet devices, projection-based systems, heads-up displays (HUDs), head mounted systems, vehicle windshields having integrated display capability, windows having integrated display capability, displays formed as lenses designed to be placed on a person’s eyes (e.g., similar to contact lenses), headphones/earphones, speaker arrays, input systems (e.g., wearable or handheld controllers with or without haptic feedback), smartphones, tablets or tablet devices, and desktop/laptop computers.
For example, an HMD (ie, the Apple Glasses) could have one or more speaker(s) and an integrated opaque display. Alternatively, an HMD may be configured to accept an external opaque display (e.g., a smartphone). The wearable device may incorporate one or more imaging sensors to capture images or video of the physical environment, and/or one or more microphones to capture audio of the physical environment.
Apple is obviously exploring various options. Perhaps Apple Glasses would include a built-in SSD for holding recorded CGR scenes. Or the HMD could send such recordings to an iPhone, iPad, or — who knows? — perhaps even a Mac.