The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 41 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover the invention of smartglasses for augmented really applications. Apple acquired this patent from Metaio back in 2015.
Augmented Reality System for Smartglasses & iPhone
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to and Augmented Reality headset. The invention was inherited when Apple acquired the German Company Metaio. The sole inventor on the patent is Peter Meier who owned Metaio GmbH. He's now Director, Algorithm Lead, Technology Development Group.
In the illustration of FIG. 1A below, the user wears, as display device, a head mounted display system ("Head Mounted Display", abbreviated to HMD) comprising a display (#21) that is part of the system setup (#20). The display e.g. may be generally known semi-transparent data glasses ("optical see-through display"), in which virtual information provided by a computer (#23 like a smartphone) can be blended in.
The user then sees, in a view of the real world (#40) through the semi-transparent data glasses objects of the real world augmented with blended in virtual information (such as e.g. POI objects related to the real world). In this manner, the system setup constitutes a first embodiment of a generally known augmented reality (AR) system.
The display may have additional sensors (#24) such as rotation sensors, and a camera (#22) for optical tracking mounted thereon. The display can be semi-transparent or may be fed with images of the reality by a camera image.
The illustration of FIG. 1B shows another exemplary system setup (#30) that can be found often e.g. in modem mobile telephones (so-called "smartphones"). The display device (#31, e.g. in the form of a display screen or display), computer (#33), sensors (#34) and camera (#32) constitute a system unit that is accommodated e.g. in a common housing of a mobile telephone.
Basically, the present invention can be used expediently for all forms of AR. For example, it is of no relevance whether the representation is implemented in the so-called optical see-through mode with semi-transparent HMD or in the video see-through mode with camera and display screen.
The invention basically can also be used in connection with stereoscopic displays, in which the video see-through approach advantageously uses two cameras each for recording one video stream per eye. In any situation, the items of virtual 3D information can be calculated individually for each eye.
Apple's granted patent was originally filed in Q4 2015 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.