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Patently Apple has covered a series of patent relating to cooling systems designed for Apple's future extended reality headset since 2020: 01, 02 and 03. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a new patent application from Apple covering a cooling system using different methodologies. The patent is titled "Noise Mitigation for Head-Mounted Device." The design is to provide users with a quiet cooling system so as to make it comfortable for users to wear over longer periods of time, such as when playing a video game.


Apple notes that head-mounted devices, such as head-mounted displays, headsets, visors, smartglasses, head-up display, etc., can perform a range of functions that are managed by the components (e.g., sensors, circuitry, and other hardware) included with the wearable device. The head-mounted device can provide a user experience that is immersive or otherwise natural so the user can easily focus on enjoying the experience without being distracted by the mechanisms of the head-mounted device.


Components of a head-mounted device can generate heat during operation. Excessive heat for long durations of time can damage the components of the head-mounted device and cause discomfort to the user.


Heat can be mitigated in a number of ways, including with active mechanisms (e.g., air movers) that are integrated into the head-mounted device. However, operation of active cooling mechanisms (e.g., air movers) can generate noise that may interfere with the user's desired experience with the head-mounted device.


Apple's invention covers systems that can provide a head-mounted device that effectively manages heat while also managing noise output in a manner that reduces the user's perception thereof.


For example, a support member extending across a flow channel can provide multiple sections with different profiles and/or cross-sectional dimensions within the flow channel. Each of the profiles and/or cross-sectional dimensions can generate tonal noises at different frequencies, so that the tonal noises generated are distributed across multiple frequencies, making it possible to mask such tonal noises among broadband noises that are generated by the head-mounted device. Such a support member can be moveably positioned within the flow channel and rigidly coupled to other components of the head-mounted device, such as a camera on an outer side of the head-mounted device and a display module on an inner side of the head-mounted device. Such a support member can also be used to draw heat away from other components of the head-mounted device to be dissipated by the flow of air within the flow channel.


Apple's patent FIG. 1 illustrates that the invention relates to a Head Mounted Device (HMD); FIG. 2 illustrates the outer shell / case of the HMD while FIG. 3 illustrates the view of the inside of the HMD.


2 Apple patent figs. 1  2  3  8 & 16 making a cooling system quieter


Apple's patent FIG. 8 above illustrates a perspective view of a support member having a variable (e.g., stepwise) cross-sectional dimension across its length; FIG. 16 illustrates a sectional view of a support member in a flow channel that can include surface features that affect the flow with respect to the support member.


For those wanting more details, review Apple's patent application number US 20220394889 A1.


Apple Inventors


Arash Naghib Lahouti: Sr. Product Design Engineer (Fluid Mechanics Specialist) 

Jesse Dybenko: Engineering Manager – Fans

Ivan Marić: Product Design Engineer

Zimmerman; Aidan N.: Sr. Product Design Technical Lead, Manager (Technology Development Group.)

Johnny Atler: Product Design Engineer


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