Being an eyeglasses wearer who has trouble wearing contact lens for a long time due to my dry eyes, these are the “Apple Glasses” I want: a form factor with adjustable lens that would configure themselves to deal with my particular vision issues.
And a newly granted patent (number 10,955,724) for an “adjustable lens system” shows that this could happen. In the patent data, Apple notes that a head-mounted device (HMD) may have displays that are viewable by the eyes of a viewer through adjustable lenses. The adjustable lenses may be liquid crystal lenses. A camera and other sensors in the head-mounted device may monitor the eyes of the user and gather other information.
Control circuitry in the head-mounted device may control the adjustable lenses based on measured characteristics of the eyes of the user such as interpupillary distance and direction-of-view. The control circuitry may match the distance between the centers of the adjustable lenses to the measured interpupillary distance and may align the lens centers with the measured direction-of-view. The adjustable lenses may have transparent electrodes that are supplied with time-varying control signals by the control circuitry.
Part of the goal of the patent is to make Apple Glasses more comfortable. However, I’m hoping that, in time, we’ll see lightweight version of the device that would offer prescription lens.
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.”