Apple Reveals work on a 'Lenticular Display' that's used in context with a next-gen TV and their Apple TV+ Service
Early today Patently Apple discovered a very unique patent filing from Apple about a new "lenticular display" that they're working on. Although I first discovered it in Europe, it was actually a U.S. patent that was published on Thursday. Apple notes that their invention generally relates to lenticular displays and, in particular, to systems, methods, and devices for displaying different content to different users via a lenticular display. The twist to this invention was the context of a television using a lenticular display.
Lenticular displays are capable displaying different content at different angles. For example, when viewing a lenticular display from a first angle, a video clip is seen and when viewing the lenticular display from a second angle, a different video clip is seen.
Whereas some lenticular displays display different content at different angles, it may be desirable to display different content to different users while the users move with respect to the lenticular display.
At first, I thought that this kind of display could be used at Apple Stores so that as a customer walked through the store, the lenticular display would present a different video of a different Apple product depending on the angle the user viewed the display. That would be interesting enough to see in the future. However, further into the patent filing Apple provided an example that I wasn't expecting to find. One about the lenticular displays used in context with television.
For example, Apple describes patent FIG. 2 this way: "a first user (#120A) may be associated with metadata indicating that the first user has permission to watch television shows rated TV-MA or less, whereas the second user (#120B) is associated with metadata indicating that the second user has permission to watch television shows rated TV-PG or less. Thus, the first content (#130A) may include a TV-MA rated television show and the second content may include a different show (rated TV-PG or less) or a censored version of the TV-MA rated television show."
Apple's patent FIG. 3 illustrates a third perspective view of the example operating environment at the first time; FIG. 4 illustrates a top view of the example operating environment at the first time.
Further into this patent application got even more interesting in respect to TV. When Apple is describing a method associated with the lenticular display, they used the following scenario:
"For example, in various implementations, the first user is associated with a first subscription video service account and the second user is associated with a second subscription video service account and a respective “next episode” is displayed to each user. In various implementations, the method further includes determining, from the first image, a first vertical angle of the first user at the first time with respect to the line perpendicular to the lenticular display and a first vertical angle of the second user at the first time with respect to the line perpendicular to the lenticular display."
Hmm, a video subscription service like Apple TV+? Of course, though not limited to a single service in the bigger scheme of things.
Apple's patent FIG. 10 below is a schematic of a future lenticular display system.
We've noted recently that Apple has been adding the device "television" to International Class descriptions found in trademarks and to general devices that could apply to inventions. However, this is one of the first patents that we've come across that has described a physical TV beyond content being played on one.
To review more of the details to this invention, see Apple's patent application number 20210099692. The patent was originally filed in Q3 2020.
Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.