Apple patent involves a synthesized user interface for ‘Apple Glasses’

FIG. 4 illustrates a third-person view of an SR volumetric environment.

Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,301,050) for a “method and device for presenting a synthesized reality user interface.” It involves the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality device.

About the patent

In contras to the physical, real world environment, a synthesized reality (SR) setting refers to an entirely or partly computer-created setting that individuals can sense and/or with which individuals can interact via an electronic system. In SR, a subset of an individual’s movements is monitored and respond to one or more attributes of one or more virtual objects in the SR setting is changed in a manner that conforms with one or more physical laws. 

Confusing? Let’s explain. For example, a SR system may detect an individual walking a few paces forward and, in response, adjust graphics and audio presented to the individual in a manner similar to how such scenery and sounds would change in a physical setting. Modifications to attribute(s) of virtual object(s) in a SR setting also may be made responsive to representations of movement (e.g., audio instructions). 

An individual may interact with and/or sense a SR object using any one of his senses, including touch, smell, sight, taste, and sound. For example, an individual may interact with and/or sense aural objects that create a multi-dimensional (e.g., three dimensional) or spatial aural setting, and/or enable aural transparency. 

Multi-dimensional or spatial aural settings provide an individual with a perception of discrete aural sources in multi-dimensional space. Aural transparency selectively incorporates sounds from the physical setting, either with or without computer-created audio. In some SR settings, an individual may interact with and/or sense only aural objects. 

One example of SR is virtual reality (VR). A VR setting refers to a simulated setting that is designed only to include computer-created sensory inputs for at least one of the senses. A VR setting includes multiple virtual objects with which an individual may interact and/or sense. An individual may interact and/or sense virtual objects in the VR setting through a simulation of a subset of the individual’s actions within the computer-created setting, and/or through a simulation of the individual or his presence within the computer-created setting. 

Another example of SR is mixed reality (MR). A MR setting refers to a simulated setting that is designed to integrate computer-created sensory inputs (e.g., virtual objects) with sensory inputs from the physical setting, or a representation thereof. On a reality spectrum, a mixed reality setting is between, and does not include, a VR setting at one end and an entirely physical setting at the other end. 

Apple wants its Apple Glasses to sport computer-created sensory inputs that can easily adapt to changes in sensory inputs from the physical setting. It also wants such a device to monitor orientation and/or location with respect to the physical setting to enable interaction between virtual objects and real objects (which are physical elements from the physical setting or representations thereof).

Summary of the patent 

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent with technical details: “In various implementations, methods of presenting a synthesized reality (SR) user interface are disclosed, including moving a data item in SR user interface, regrouping data items in an SR user interface, selecting groups of data items in an SR user interface, and playing audio files represented by data items in an SR user interface.”

About Apple Glasses

When it comes to Apple Glasses, such a device will arrive in late 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.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.