Apple's Engineers appear to be deadly focused and determined to create a very sophisticated entry-level Glasses-Style HMD
Over the last few years, patents from Apple regarding future headsets and eyewear have dramatically increased. To date, our archives cover over 344 patents on this one Apple project. One particular invention for a headset has been granted 16 patents dating back to 2008. Apple is now aiming to further update/advance an entry level headset or iPhone accessory.
While Apple's next-big thing will relate to eyewear in various forms over time (e.g., an entry-level HMD, Mixed Reality HMD, Smartglasses, contact lenses etc.), one of the most patented concepts on record is that of an entry-level HMD that will use an iPhone as its display as illustrated in the patent figures below. The initial concept was first filed back in 2008.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates a simplified diagram of a head-mounted display system; FIG. 3A outlines an overview of features that the HMD could present; FIG. 7 shows a side view of a head-mounted device coupled to an iPhone.
Each of Apple's updates have added new patent claims to advance and protect this invention. In today's patent update, Apple places emphasis on an "Eyeglass Temple" listed 30 times within their 20 new patent claims alone. The eyeglass temple covers a hinge that connects the frame; a speaker, and touch sensors along the eyeglass temple area. Each eyeglass temple (left and right) will include a speaker. The eyeglass frame includes a microphone to detect and identify a voice command and a camera. The command could be to make a phone call.
Although it could be considered an entry level device or iPhone accessory, there's a lot of sophisticated technology that could make its way into this device. For instance, the patent covers the ability to adjust a user's eyesight by entering in a user's eyeglass prescription to adjust the headset optical lenses. Apple notes:
"As another example, left and right optical modules may adjust the images displayed to account for limitations or corrections (e.g., by glasses or contact lens) of the user's eyesight. For example, if a user is myopic in one eye, the optical module associated with that eye may modify the image displayed to correct the user's myopia. The system may determine the correction required for each eye, if any, using any suitable approach. For example, the user may enter a glasses or contact lens prescription that indicates the required correction. As another example, each optical module may automatically analyze the user's eyes, and determine the adjustment needed based on the analysis. This may allow users who normally wear glasses to use system without their glasses, which may lead to discomfort."
There's more to this patent that meets the eye.
Many Apple fans were probably in kindergarten when Apple was first granted their first patent for this invention. So if you're curious to know more about this invention for an entry Head Mounted Device or iPhone accessory, check out Apple's continuation patent 20220131963 here.
With Apple shooting for their 17 granted patent for this invention, it would strongly suggest that at some point in time, this invention should materialize to address the lower end of the market for teens and fans around the world.