Apple Wins a Patent for an Interactive Laser Projection System for Presentations, a Virtual Desktop & more
Last month Patently Apple posted a patent application report titled "Apple Invents an Interactive Laser Projection System to work with a Desktop, a mixed reality Headset & in Presentations." In an incredibly fast turnaround, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple this patent today.
Apple's granted patent relates to a new projection system that could work with a desktop to present an illuminated keyboard or gaming controller; work with a future mixed reality headset to provide a floating keyboard or an interactive gaming object; and finally, be used in a professional application providing an interactive presentation screen or wall.
Apple's patent covers devices, systems and methods that may have as advantages a reduction of associated hardware components, the ability to project the image against a variety of surfaces, and the ability to scale the projected image, among other advantages.
Apple's patent FIG. 1A below illustrates an electronic device for projecting an image onto an input surface and receiving user input by user interaction with the input surface. This "virtual desktop" could be used in schools, libraries, in work cubicles and at home. It could be considered both a PC with security in mind as well as a system that could save on space.
In some embodiments, a user's positions, gestures, or motions within the three-dimensional (3D) space between the projector and the input surface (desk #102) may be detected using the scanning light beam. The detection of a lift of a finger off the input surface can be used to indicate an end of a scroll command, a zoom command, or another command.
In Apple's patent FIG. 2A below we're able to see scanning system #200 operable to scan an input surface. The scanning may be performed row-by-row, as indicated.
Alternatively, another scan pattern may be used. The scanning may be performed sufficiently rapidly to allow the scanning system to work in concert with video images projected onto the input surface.
The light source may be a laser emitter, and the emitted light beam 204 may be a laser beam. The light beam 204 may pass through a collimating lens 206 for increased working distance range.
Apple's patent FIG. 4B above illustrates how an intervening object, such as a user's finger (#416) or another user input object (e.g., an Apple Pencil) may be detected during a scan operation (#410).
For more on this, review our original patent application report or review Apple's granted patent 10,871,820.