Apple Invents a Hybrid HMD System that Supports Prescription Glasses in a very unique Manner
For some time now, Apple has been working on a Head-Mounted Display device that could work with prescription lenses. Patently Apple has covered this subject in at least 4 IP reports (01, 02, 03 & 04). No other VR headset on the market today addresses the issue of prescription glasses. Apple's engineers appear to be determined to provide Apple customers that wear prescription glasses with a unique and comfortable system.
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to a unique Head-Mounted Display device system. In one design, prescription lenses could be placed into a swing-away module. In a second design, a user will wear normal-looking prescription glasses designed with removable side frames (temples) that will allow the front frame of the glasses to fit into Apple's main VR/MR HMD display system.
A head-mounted display (HMD) is a display device that includes one or more display modules for displaying graphics to the user. However, different users may have different refractive errors of their eyes, such that different users require different corrective lenses.
Apple's invention covers a head-mounted display unit with one or more interchangeable lenses. The interchangeable lenses may be configured according to characteristics of different eyes of different users (e.g., according to an eyeglass prescription).
For example, one pair of interchangeable lenses may be associated with (e.g., prescribed for) one user, while another pair of interchangeable lenses may be associated with another user.
The interchangeable lenses are mountable to the head-mounted display unit in an interchangeable manner such that different lenses may be mounted to the head-mounted display unit to accommodate different users with different eye characteristics. The interchangeable lenses may be mounted to the head-mounted display unit in various different manners.
implementations of display systems. In one implementation, a display system includes a display, a removable lens assembly, and a lens detection sensor. The removable lens is removably coupleable to the display.
The display system may determine lens information from the removable lens with the lens detection sensor, and may provide an indicator of the removable lens according to the lens information.
In another implementation, a removable lens assembly may be removably to the display module in a single orientation with magnetic attachment features coupled to the frame and surrounding the lens element.
A removable lens assembly may also be removably coupleable to the display module with sprung latch mechanisms.
In an implementation, a display and vision correction system includes a head-mounted display unit, a glasses frame, and a removable lens assembly.
Apple's patent FIGS. 1 and 2 below illustrate a VR & Mixed Reality display system (#100) that generally includes a head-mounted display unit (#110) and one or more removable lens assemblies (#120); FIG. 4 is a rear view of a removable lens of the display system of FIG. 1 with light emission, entry, and exit points illustrated by dashed lines (i.e., dash-dot lines).
Apple's patent FIG. 13E below is a cross-sectional view of the HMD display module and its removable lens assembly in a partially coupled state; FIG. 13F illustrates the removable lens assembly in a coupled state; FIG. 15 is a flow chart of a process for determining compatibility of a removable lens and a user.
Apple's patent FIG. 22A below is a side schematic view of a person wearing a head-mounted display unit in a lowered configuration; FIG. 22B is a side schematic view of the person wearing the head-mounted display unit of FIG. 22A in a raised configuration.
Apple's patent FIGS. 18A-18C below illustrate that the removable lens assembly may be worn by the user independent of the head-mounted display unit. For example, a glasses assembly (#1870) includes a glasses frame (#1880) to which the removable lens assembly is coupleable. That is, the one or more removable lens assemblies that are usable with the head-mounted display unit are also usable with the glasses assembly.
Apple's patent application number 20200400948 that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back June 2020 with a provisional patent filed a year earlier. USPTO doesn't publish provisional patents. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.