Yesterday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 55 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. In this particular report we mainly focus on the Apple Vision Pro's cooling system. And as always, we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple this week.
During Apple's WWDC23 Keynote, Mike Rockwell, VP, Technology Development Group stated that "Processing all the information from these sensors, while simultaneously delivering an ultra-high-resolution experience, requires a system with massive sustained computational power. It also has to remain cool and quiet." From there, Rockwell revealed the Vision Pro's dual processor set up.
Integrated Fan And Heat Sink For Head-mountable Device
Apple's granted patent begins by stating that head-mountable devices, such as head-mountable 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-mountable 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-mountable device.
Components of a head-mountable device can generate heat during operation. Excessive heat for long durations of time can damage the components of the head-mountable device and cause discomfort to the user. Heat can be mitigated in a number of ways, including with active mechanisms (e.g., fans) that are integrated into the head-mountable device.
However, operation of active cooling mechanisms (e.g., air movers) can generate noise and vibration that may interfere with the user's desired experience with the head-mountable device.
In particular, head-mountable devices are mounted on the head of the user and in close proximity to the ears of the user while in use. On this point, it's desirable to reduce any noise and vibration so that it is not perceived by the user. Additionally, it can be desirable to increase the efficiency of components of a head-mountable device to minimize power requirements during operation. Furthermore, it can be desirable to reduce the size and weight of components of a head-mountable device so that the size and weight of the overall system is minimized, thereby allowing the user to wear and operate the head-mountable device with greater comfort.
Systems presented in this granted patent focuses on providing a cooling module that effectively manages heat while also minimizing noise, vibration, leakage, power consumption, size, and weight.
To dissipate heat, the cooling module with a fan can be operated to move air through a chamber within the head-mountable device. An integrated heat sink can provide heat dissipation properties by drawing heat away from heat-generating components and into the chamber.
The integrated heat sink can include a base plate that defines at least a portion of the chamber in which the blades of the fan are positioned. The integrated heat sink can further include fins between the chamber and an outlet. The fins can be integrated with the base plate to maximize heat dissipation and reduce the number of interfaces between separate parts.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates an HMD (Apple Vision Pro) with an integrated cooling module with a cooling module inlet; FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a cooling module for a head-mountable device: FIG. 4 illustrates an exploded perspective view of a cooling module; and FIG. 6 FIG. 6 illustrates a block diagram of a head-mountable device with a cooling module noted in #200.
For finer details, review Apple's granted patent 11716829.
Today’s Remaining Granted Patents