Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,157,739) for a “multi-user computer generated reality platform.” It involves the rumored “Apple Glasses” — an augmented reality/virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD).
About the patent
In the patent data, Apple notes that, as the capability of electronic devices increases and their ability to output high-quality visual displays improves, applications are becoming more immersive. One such example is the increasing mainstream demand for computer generated reality applications.
The patent involves techniques for providing a multi-user computer generated reality (“CGR”) environment and to facilitate user interaction with the environment. Such techniques optionally complement or replace other methods for providing a multi-user CGR environment. Apple says that such techniques can improve the user experience, increase privacy and security, and enable CGR interfaces (e.g., 3D interfaces) with advanced functionality. And the company wants multiple users of its HMDs to navigate the “same” virtual world seamlessly while viewing the same computer generated reality.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “The present disclosure relates to providing a multi-user computer generated reality (“CGR”) session. In some embodiments, a first electronic device displays a CGR environment, wherein the CGR environment is responsive to input from the first electronic device and a second electronic device, wherein the second device is external to the first device.
“While displaying the CGR environment, the device obtains a first scene graph from a process executing on the first device, wherein the first scene graph includes information for rendering a first entity, and obtains a second scene graph from a process executing on the second device, wherein the second scene graph includes information for rendering a second entity. The first electronic device updates the displayed CGR environment based on the first scene graph and the second scene graph, wherein the displayed CGR environment includes a visual representation of the first and a visual representation of the second entity.”
About Apple Glasses
When it comes to Apple Glasses, such a device will arrive in 2022 or 2023, 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 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.”