Apple wins 2 HMD patents covering a Cooling System and the use of Fresnel lenses to keep the HMD Light on the user's face
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple two Head Mounted Display (HMD) device related patents covering a cooling system and the use of Fresnel lenses to keep the headset or glasses light for a better user experience.
HMD with Fresnel Lenses
Apple's first granted patent relating to a Head Mounted Display Device (HMD) relates to an optical system that uses Fresnel lenses supporting VR and AR images.
The displays may be either planar or curved. The optical system may have Fresnel lenses through which a user of the head-mounted device may view the images. The Fresnel lenses may have curved convex surfaces that face the displays or may be planar.
The Fresnel lenses may have concentric rings with slope facets and draft facets. Light scattering in the Fresnel lenses may be reduced to improve image contrast by coating the draft facets with opaque masking material and/or by aligning concentric rings of the opaque masking material that are supported on a transparent substrate with the draft facets.
As shown in FIG. 1 below, head-mounted display (#10) may include a display system such as display system #40 that provides images comprised of image light and may have an optical system such as lens system #20 through which a user (see, e.g., user's eyes #46) may view the images produced by display system. The lens system may include fixed and/or tunable lenses for focusing the images on the display for viewing by the user. The lens system includes Fresnel lenses. The Fresnel lenses may have low weight, small thicknesses, and other desirable properties relative to smooth surfaced lenses so that the bulk and weight of the device are reduced and viewer comfort is enhanced.
Apple notes that the housing (#12) may have the shape of a frame for a pair of glasses (e.g., head-mounted device #10 may resemble eyeglasses), a VR headset or a pair of goggles.
For more details, review granted patent 11,054,646.
HMD with Air Deflector Cooling System
Apple's second granted patent relating to a Head Mounted Display Device (HMD) covers a cooling system. As with other electronic devices, head-mounted devices can employ a cooling system based on circulation of air to maintain electronic components at desirable operating temperatures. The cooling system can also be used to cool the user's face from heat build-up inside the head-mounted device.
Patently Apple just covered a patent application on June 17th on this very cooling system that you could review here. Today's granted patent however, is from another patent about this cooling system that Apple filed for back in March 2020.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates an example of a head-mounted device with an air circulation device to keep the components of the HMD cool over time.
As seen in FIG. 2 above, the air circulation device #140 can be positioned in or otherwise mounted to the housing (#110) so as to urge a flow of air through an interior space (#225) of the housing. The housing can include a port that permits fluid communication between the interior space and an environment external to the housing, to create a flow path of air in the housing.
In FIG. 2, the housing is shown with a pair of inlet ports (#240) at a bottom side thereof, and an outlet port (#250) at a top side thereof, which creates air flow paths (#275) extending from the inlet ports to the outlet port. Each of the ports can include a vent, screen, hole, porous membrane, and/or other fluidic opening that permits fluid communication thereacross.
Today's granted patent and last month's patent application share the very same patent figures. The differences between the patent application and today's granted patent reside in today's 20 patent claims that you could review in granted patent 11,058,026 here.