Future Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches may sport GNSS measurements

FIG. 1 illustrates an example environment in which one or more electronic devices may implement the subject system for estimating device position and/or orientation.

Future Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches may sport Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) measurements based on a newly granted Apple patent (number 11,249,197) for “image-based techniques for stabilizing positioning estimates.” 

About the patent 

GNSS) is a general term describing any satellite constellation that provides positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services on a global or regional basis.

In the patent data, Apple says that laptops, tablets, smart phones, and wearable devices may include a GNSS receiver and one or more sensors (e.g., an accelerometer, a gyroscope such as a rate gyroscope). They can be used in conjunction with each other to estimate the position and/or orientation of the electronic device. This could be used to locate a device or person with the device. 

What’s more, an augmented reality application could use one or more of the estimates for device position and/or orientation (e.g., heading), in order to integrate digital content (e.g., visual, audio and/or tactile) into images of the user’s real-world environment (e.g., as being captured by the image sensor and displayed in real-time). 

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent with the technical details: “A device implementing a system for estimating device location includes at least one processor configured to receive a first estimated position of the device at a first time. The at least one processor is further configured to capture, using an image sensor of the device, images during a time period defined by the first time and a second time, and determine, based on the images, a second estimated position of the device, the second estimated position being relative to the first estimated position. The at least one processor is further configured to receive a third estimated position of the device at the second time, and estimate a location of the device based on the second estimated position and the third estimated position.”

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.