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Apple invents Gaze technology that could alter an HMD's GUI positioning so as to keep a user's neck in a healthy Ergonomic position

1 cover apple hmd

Yesterday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to Apple's future Mixed Reality Headset (HMD). More specifically, the patent relates to determining when the head position of a user viewing user interfaces in a computer-generated reality environment is not in a comfortable and/or ergonomic position and repositions the displayed user interface so that the user will reposition their head to view the user interface at a more comfortable and/or ergonomic head position.

Apple notes in their patent filing that it’s beneficial to improve user comfort and experience during computer-generated reality experiences. Apple’s patent describes techniques for determining whether the user's head position is in an ergonomic position while the user is viewing user interfaces in a computer-generated reality environment and repositioning the computer-generated reality content so that the user can view the computer-generated reality content from a more comfortable and/or ergonomic head position.

Further, Apple’s patent provides techniques for a user device and external devices to detect and obtain biometric characteristics of the user that include the user's head position, posture, and gaze while the user is viewing user interfaces in a computer-generated reality environment.

The measured biometric characteristics are used to determine whether the user's head position is in a range of positions. For example, a user may be viewing a portion of the user interface that causes the user to tilt their head down for a prolonged period of time. When a user's head position is determined to be in certain positions, the user interface is moved to a new position so that it can be viewed from a more ergonomic head position.

For example, a user interface positioned at the bottom of the computer-generated reality environment, which may strain the user's eyes or neck to look at, is moved higher up in the computer-generated reality environment so that the user interface is now in the user's direct line of sight.

Repositioning the user interface leads to the user lifting their head up to an ergonomic position from the prior head down position to view the user interface at the new position.

In some examples, when the user's head position is within a certain range (e.g., that is of suboptimal ergonomics), a computer-generated reality system moves certain computer-generated reality objects so that they are more ergonomically aligned with the user's line of sight. In some examples, when the user's head position is outside a certain range (e.g., that is of improved ergonomics), a computer-generated reality system moves certain computer-generated reality objects so that they are more ergonomically aligned with the user's line of sight.

Apple’s patent FIGS. 2A-2B below depict an example of determining when the user is viewing a user interface in a computer-generated reality environment at an un-ergonomic head position and repositioning the user interface so that it can be viewed from a more comfortable and/or ergonomic head position.

2 Apple HMD patent figs

Apple’s patent FIGS. 3A-3B below depict an example of repositioning a notification that is displayed in an un-ergonomic viewing position relative to the position of a displayed user interface so that the notification can be viewed from a more ergonomic head position.

3 Apple HMD patent figs

Apple also point out that users will be able to  selectively block use of, or access to, biometric data including head position and posture information. For example, a system that implements the present technology can also allow users to "opt in" or "opt out" of the features described.

For more details on this invention and specifically to review its 25 new technical points listed in their patent claims, review Apple's patent application number US 20230008291 A1.

10.51FX - Patent Application Bar

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