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Apple patent reveals the future ability to perform major display expansion operations on a Mac, MacBook or TV when wearing an HMD

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Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to computer-generated reality environments, and more specifically to dynamically controlling displays in a computer-generated reality environment. Drilling down further, the patent filing describes the process as a virtual 'display expansion operation" that pertains to a Mac, MacBook or TV etc.


Apple's summary notes that the patent covers an exemplary process for dynamically controlling the size of a display. A user wearing a mixed reality Head Mounted Device (HMD) could be viewing a display (Mac, MacBook or TV) and expand it as needed virtually.


For instance, if a user is working on a large graphic or spreadsheet, the user would be able to expand the physical device's display seamlessly with virtual extensions for height or width as need which is presented in the patent figures further below.   


Apple's patent FIGS. 4A and 4B below illustrate an example of resizing operations of a larger wall size display or TV. FIG. 4A illustrates user 202 and electronic device 200 a wearable electronic device (e.g., an HMD).


2 Apple patent figs


In patent FIG. 4B illustrates an example top-view configuration of resizing operations. In this illustration we an expansion operation of a display. For example, the user may drag a visual object from one location within the display area of display #204 toward edge #432 of display 204 in direction 452. User 202 may continue to drag the visual object to a location outside of display 204 proximate to edge 432, causing display 204 to expand from edge 430 in direction 452.


In a second example, Apple's patent figures below illustrate a MacBook-like foldable device. In patent FIG. 10G we see another example of a resizing operation, that expands the dimensions of the physical MacBook's in height and width as needed.


This could come in handy if most of your work is done on a 13" MacBook but when working on a large graphic or spreadsheet, you'll appreciate being able to virtually expand the display until that part of your project is done. Being able to see details clearly would be a benefit. Of course, it requires the user to be wearing an HMD to perform this task.


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For more details, review Apple's patent application 20210366440 titled "Controlling Displays," here.


Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.


Apple's Listed Inventors


David Schattel: AR/VR Software Engineering Manager

Aaron Burns: Software Engineering Manager

Alexis Palangie: Senior Software Engineer

Pol Pla: AR Product Design Manager (Now with Meta / Facebook)


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