Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,321,923) for “immersive display of motion-synchronized virtual content” in a vehicle. The goal is to motion sickness in passengers.
About the patent
The patent involves methods and am apparatus for providing enhanced virtual reality (VR) and/or mixed reality (MR) experiences for passengers in vehicles. Embodiments of a VR system are described that may implement VR methods, for example to address problems with vehicles in motion that may result in motion sickness for the passengers. Embodiments of the VR system may provide immersive VR experiences to passengers in vehicles, for example by replacing the view of the real world with any of various types of virtual experiences and environments that a passenger may desire.
Vehicle motions may be integrated into the virtual experiences to help prevent motion sickness. In some embodiments, active vehicle systems and/or vehicle control systems within constraints, may be integrated with the VR system to provide physical effects with the virtual experience, for example rushing wind or heat through the HVAC system, surround sound and sound effects through the audio system, and acceleration or motion effects through the seat.
In addition to reducing motion sickness, Apple says that embodiments of the VR system may provide enhanced immersive virtual experiences to passengers in moving vehicles that aren’t achievable in conventional stationary VR systems. The tech giant says that “integrating the VR system with a vehicle in motion provides opportunities for enhancing virtual experiences that are not available while sitting in a room using a stationary simulator or wearing a head-mounted device such as the rumored “Apple Glasses.”
For example, accelerations and motions in a virtual experience can be matched to or enhanced by accelerations and motions of the vehicle, and thus do not have to be simulated using gravity vectors as in a stationary simulator
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent with technical details: “VR system for vehicles that may implement methods that address problems with vehicles in motion that may result in motion sickness for passengers. The VR system may provide virtual views that match visual cues with the physical motions that a passenger experiences. The VR system may provide immersive VR experiences by replacing the view of the real world with virtual environments.
“Active vehicle systems and/or vehicle control systems may be integrated with the VR system to provide physical effects with the virtual experiences. The virtual environments may be altered to accommodate a passenger upon determining that the passenger is prone to or is exhibiting signs of motion sickness.”
When might we see an Apple Car?
On. Nov. 18, Bloomberg reported that Apple is accelerating development on its “Apple Car.” The article says the electric vehicle will be self-driving and could roll out in 2025.
What’s more, in a note to clients — as noted by AppleInsider — investment bank Wedbush says Apple is likely to announce a strategic electric vehicle partnership in 2022 to lay the groundwork for an “Apple Car” release in 2025.