Apple TV+ Releases the Trailer for the Emotionally Charged Drama Series 'The Morning Show' set to debut in September
Apple Rumored to be Preparing a Major iPad Pro Updated for Late 2024 Powered by M3 and more

An Apple patent describes the Vision Pro prescription lens System & a New Vending Machine concept for purchasing Vision Pro parts

1 Cover Vision Pro Dispenser System

Yesterday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that describes the system for accommodating prescription lenses for Vision Pro. More interestingly, perhaps, is that the patent describes a completely new concept of selling Vision Pro parts and/or accessories, including lenses, in a dispenser that sounds more like a vending machine. The user could operate the dispenser independently or have an Apple Store sales person assist them in making a purchase.

As noted in video snippet below from the Apple Vision Pro presentation back in June, the headset accommodates prescription lenses from Zeiss that magnetically  attach to the lenses. This is what the first granted Apple patent in this report covers.

The visual output features of a head-mountable device can be provided in a manner that accommodates a user’s vision, including vision deficiencies and/or needs for vision correction. For example, a head-mountable device can include or be combinable with corrective lenses that allow a user to properly view the visual output features of the head-mountable device. To allow a given head-mountable device can be used by different users, the corrective lenses can be provided as a separate module that is attachable, removable, and/or exchangeable with other corrective lenses. Accordingly, any given user can properly view the visual output features when using the head-mountable device with an appropriate corresponding set of corrective lenses.

Different users of head-mountable devices have different needs for vision correction. Systems and methods can be provided to determine the corrective lenses that are most appropriate for a given user. Such systems and methods can include an input device for determining which of a variety of existing corrective lenses are appropriate for a given user. A dispenser can provide a selected one of multiple lenses for use by a user with a head-mountable device. The head-mountable device can then be operated with the lenses, including any appropriate accommodations based on the selection of the lenses.

Apple's patent FIG. 2 below illustrates a flow diagram of an example process #300 for an input device that relates to corrective lenses; FIG. 3 illustrates a flow diagram of an example process 400 for a dispenser. The dispenser can then dispense a lens based on the lens type (404). the dispenser can install the lens on the head-mountable device (406), and both the lens and the head-mountable device can be dispensed together.

2 Apple patent figs 2  3  7 & 8 corrective lens system

Apple's patent FIGS. 7 and 8 above illustrate attachment elements that can facilitate coupling of the sample lens set #200 to the head-mountable device #100 in a relative position and orientation that aligns the lenses #250 of the sample lens set in a preferred position and orientation relative to the display elements #140 of the head-mountable device for viewing by the user.

The head-mountable device and the sample lens set can be securely and releasably coupled together. For example, HMD attachment elements can releasably engage lens attachment elements #280. One or more of various mechanisms can be provided to secure the components to each other. For example, mechanisms such as locks, latches, snaps, slides, channels, screws, clasps, threads, magnets, pins, an interference (e.g., friction) fit, knurl presses, bayoneting, fused materials, weaves, knits, braids, and/or combinations thereof can be included to couple and/or secure the head-mountable device 100 and the sample lens set together. Apple Vision Pro uses magnets.

An Apple First: A Vision Pro Dispensing System

One of the key aspects of this patent application would be a first for Apple / Apple Stores; A dispensing system for Apple Vision Pro (and/or future headsets/smartglasses). Think of it as a sort of vending machine for Vision Pro accessories that could include things like ordering a light seal, a head securement element (perhaps leather upgrades), and/or other equipment that is fitted to the user such as lenses. Additionally or alternatively, optional equipment for use with the head-mountable device can be provided based on inputs and/or user selections.

As shown in FIG. 1 in-part below illustrates dispensing station #40 that can include dispenser #42 that contains the sample lens sets #200 and provides an ability to dispense one or more of the sample lens sets to a user. For example, the dispenser can identify any given one of the sample lens sets based on an identifier that corresponds to or is otherwise associated with the information received from the input station. The dispenser can dispense the selected one of the sample lens sets by one or more of a variety of mechanisms.

For example, the dispenser can indicate to a user which of the sample lens sets  are to be used for a given user. By further example, the dispenser can move one of the sample lens sets to a location accessible to the user or otherwise make such a sample lens set available.

3 Dispenser Station - System FIG. 1

Corresponding mechanisms can include actuators, belts, arms, and/or trays for moving and/or presenting the sample lens set to a user. By further example, the dispenser can install a selected one of the sample lens sets onto a head-mountable device. Accordingly, the dispenser can dispense both a sample lens set and a head-mountable device for use by the user.

As further shown in FIG. 1, the HMD demonstration system can further include a point-of-sale station. The point-of-sale station can include a point-of-sale device (computer) that is operable by the user or another person to perform a transaction based on a selected one or more of the sample lens sets and/or head-mountable devices.

For example, when the user has selected a sample lens set or other equipment, the user and/or another person can place an order or otherwise purchase the sample lens set, a head-mountable device, and/or other equipment. The generation of an order and/or purchase can be based on the determinations made by the input station and/or user selections.

It will be understood that the sample lens set and/or the head-mountable device ordered and/or purchased can be other than those sampled by the user in the demonstration station.

For example, upon completion of the demonstration at the demonstration station #60, the user can return the sample lens set and/or the head-mountable device to its source (e.g., the dispensing station). Optionally, the sample lens set and/or the head-mountable device can be handled by staff and/or cleansed in preparation for use by other users.

Further, the HMD demonstration system can include an input station, a dispensing station, a demonstration station and/or a point-of-sale station. The input station  can facilitate determining a user’s need regarding corrective lenses.

No matter how the patent attempts to describe the dispenser (vending machine) and input station, it's really hard to get your head around the actual functionality of this in stores. We'll have to wait and see if this concept comes to life at the time Vision Pro is released or further out in time.  

For finer details, review Apple's granted patent 20230264442.

Team Members behind this Apple Patent

  • Anna Mirabella: Product Design Engineering Program Manager
  • Forrest Wang: Product Design Engineer
  • Andreas Weber: System Architect


10.51FX - Patent Application Bar


The comments to this entry are closed.