Four new Apple HMD-Centric patents were published this week with one covering an ongoing project related to ‘Media Glasses’
Apple has been working on a pair of media glasses for close to 16 years. You’d think by now that they would abandon the idea, but no. They doubled down on the concept by refreshing it in 2019 with the images as noted in our cover graphic above.
Over the years, Apple’s engineers updated their invention to include “a processor configured to adjust the optical subassembly based on prescription information. Apple noted in their claims that year that “The head-mounted apparatus defined in claim 1, wherein the processor is configured to adjust the optical subassembly to correct for a user's eyesight based on the prescription information.” This was the focus of 13 out 20 patent claims.
Below is the original patent concept of media glasses that would provide users with content such as movies, TV Shows, video games, music videos and more. The system includes cameras, a cooling system and more as presented in patent FIG. 3A. As we noted earlier, Apple modernized their invention in 2019.
Secondly, this is a utility patent and the design presented in only a basic overview of the invention. This is not a design patent, so keep in mind that Apple would release an iPhone accessory with a completely modernized appearance.
Even as far back as 2008, Apple had envision a future head-mounted display system that could operate in an external viewing mode, which allows the user to view the outside world. That aspect is now a part of Vision Pro.
This week, the U.S. Patent Office published yet another update to this invention in the form of presented 20 new patent claims.
Patent Claim 2 in-part states that “a left adjustable optical module that is configured to adjust a left image that is presented for a left eye; and a right adjustable optical module that is configured to adjust a right image that is presented for a right eye, wherein the frame has a nose recess that is interposed between the left and right adjustable optical modules, wherein the left and right adjustable optical modules are configured to account for myopia; a display control in the first eyeglass temple that is configured to control a display brightness; a volume control in the first eyeglass temple that is configured to control a volume of the speaker; a microphone; and one or more accelerometers configured to detect head movements.
Patent Claim #5 states: “The electronic device defined in claim 1, further comprising: a left adjustable optical module that is configured to adjust a left image that is presented for a left eye; and a right adjustable optical module that is configured to adjust a right image that is presented for a right eye.”
Patent Claim #9 states in-part that “the left and right adjustable optical modules are configured to account for myopia.”
Patent Claim #13 states that “the connector is a universal serial bus (USB) connector.”
Patent Claim #15 states in-part that “one or more accelerometers configured to detect head movements.”
The patent claims also note that the user can make and receive calls on the inserted iPhone.
To review this classic Apple invention and review the full 20 new patent claims that Apple has added, check out patent application 20230344927.
Media glasses could be a very interesting iPhone accessory device that would allow users to enjoy viewing content like movies, Apple TV+ content and more using their iPhone hands-free.
The original patent filing dating back in 2008 obviously didn’t mention mixed reality and so unless Apple adds this in a future patent update, this feature is unlikely to play a major role. Though that could change in the blink of an eye in a future update.
New Vision Pro Related patents published this week by USPTO:
- 20230341689: Optical Systems With Multiple Light Engines For Foveation
- 20230341690: Optical Systems Having Light Sources With Power Saving Modes
- 20230343028: Method And Device For Improving Comfortability Of Virtual Content