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Apple updates patents for placing the TrueDepth Camera behind the iPhone’s display & Headset Playback Acoustic Dosimetry

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Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent application relating to the eventual elimination of the iPhone's notch by repositioning the TrueDepth camera system behind the iPhone's display.

 

Apple describes the iPhone including a display having a front surface and a back surface. The display includes a plurality of pixel regions that emit light from the front surface to display a displayed image and a plurality of apertures that transmit light from the front surface to the back surface. The iPhone includes a camera disposed on a side of the back surface of the display. The camera is configured to capture images.

 

The iPhone includes a processor coupled to the display and the camera. The processor is configured to receive the captured image and apply a first digital filter to a first portion of the captured image and a second digital filter, different than the first digital filter, to a second portion of the captured image to reduce image distortion caused by the display.

 

Apple's patent FIG. 2 below illustrates the current iPhone Notch design and FIG. 3 illustrates a future iPhone design with the TrueDepth camera system hidden behind the back of the display imagery.

 

2 camera behind display

 

Apple's patent FIG. 4 above illustrates a future operating environment #400 wherein the camera system is behind the display imagery. Apple notes that "although the camera #420 does not necessarily contact the display #410, the camera is closer to the back surface (#418) of the display than the front surface #417.

 

One of the key aspects of Apple’s invention relates to the restoration optics disposed between the display and the camera. In Apple’s follow-up patent since being granted in April, they’ve updated their patent claims to protect this key aspect of the invention. Apple has listed “restoration optics” 26 times in 20 new patent claims. Below are just the first 9 new patent claims emphasizing “restoration optics.”

 

  1. An apparatus comprising: a display having a front surface and a back surface, the display including a plurality of pixel regions that emit light from the front surface of the display to display a displayed image and a plurality of apertures that transmit light from the front surface to the back surface; a camera disposed on a side of the back surface of the display, the camera configured to capture a captured image; restoration optics disposed between the display and the camera, the restoration optics configured to reduce image distortion caused by the display; and a processor coupled to the display and the camera, the processor configured to apply a digital filter to at least a portion of the captured image to further reduce the image distortion caused by the display.
  1. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the restoration optics amplifies spatial frequencies corresponding to valleys in a point spread function of the display.
  1. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the restoration optics reduces spatial peaks in a point spread function of the display.
  1. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the restoration optics includes an optical filter.
  1. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the restoration optics includes a phase-shift mask.
  1. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the restoration optics includes at least one of a lens or a bandpass filter.
  1. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the camera includes a lens separate from the restoration optics.
  1. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the camera includes a bandpass filter separate from the restoration optics.
  1. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the processor is further configured to control the restoration optics to change a point spread function of the restoration optics.

 

To review the other 11 patent claims supporting restoration optics, review Apple's patent application number 20220179452.

 

Patent 2: AirPods Playback Acoustic Dosimetry

 

Apple notes in their patent background that consumer electronic headsets have become increasingly popular with users, because they reproduce media such as a music, podcasts and movie sound tracks with high fidelity while at the same time not disturbing others who are nearby. While the listening experience with a headset is enjoyable, and the maximum sound output of a headset is limited in accordance with hearing health safety standards, there is still a need to monitor the headset's sound output over relatively long periods of time such as days and weeks, as part of personal hearing health monitoring that aims to avoid long term exposure to loud sounds.

 

An aspect of Apple’s invention relates to digital signal processing techniques for monitoring how much sound energy is being produced by a headset during playback while being worn by a user. Other aspects are also described including how to monitor the sound that is in the ambient listening environment of the user.

 

Apple’s patent FIG. 4 below is a flow diagram of an ambient environment acoustic dosimetry process.

 

(Click on image to Enlarge)

3 x Acoustic Dosimetry - Apple patent figs

 

Apple’s patent FIG. 5 below illustrates an aggregate dosimetry process that receives multiple inputs from different devices.

 

4 - Apple Patent FIG. 5 Dosimetry process

 

In this key patent update, Apple adds 20 new patent claims to their invention titled “Headset Playback Acoustic Dosimetry,” that you could review in patent 20220178738 here.

 

10.51XF - Continuation Patent Report Bar

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