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Future Smartglasses will use advanced Optical Sensor modules including an Interferometric Sensor & extended Depth of Focus Optics

1 cover the use of interfeometic sensors

Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to future devices such as smartglasses, Apple Vision Pro and even Apple Pencil integrating interferometric sensors to sense various physical phenomena (e.g., presence, distance, velocity, size, surface properties, or particle count).

Optical Sensor Module Including An Interferometric Sensor And Extended Depth Of Focus Optics

This particular patent application from Apple will be appreciated by engineers, developers and those that are technically savvy.

Apple begins by noting that coherent optical sensing, including Doppler velocimetry and heterodyning, can be used to obtain spatial information for an object or target.

Example spatial information includes presence, distance, velocity, size, surface properties, and particle count. Coherent optical sensing can sometimes be used to obtain spatial information for a target with optical wavelength resolution, at quantum limit signal levels, and with considerably lower photon energy than time-of-flight optical sensing methods.

A general target of interest for interferometric sensing, including SMI (self-mixing interferometry)sensing, would be a non-smooth target and/or target having a volume that can be penetrated by light, such as a person's skin, clothes, a table-top, a wall, or the ground.

Apple's patent FIG. 15 below illustrates a pair of future smartglasses using a series of interferometric sensors, such as self-mixing interferometry (SMI) sensors or Mach-Zender interferometers, and to devices that use such sensors to sense various physical phenomena (e.g., presence, distance, velocity, size, surface properties, or particle count).

2. Smartglasses using interferometric sensors

Apple further notes that different depths of focus provided for one or more of the interferometric sensors (#'s 1504, 1506, 1508) can help the smartglasses detect or characterize an extended range of user eye position, gaze direction, and/or movement, which in some cases can be interpreted as one or more gestures or commands.

The different depths of focus can also help smartglasses and HMD to identify one or more structural interfaces between structures of the eye and/or surrounding facial features, and/or depths and/or volumes of eye structures.

Apple's patent FIG. 14 below relates to an HMD. Whether this relates to the first version of Apple Vision Pro or a future version is unknown at this time. The HMD integrates a series of interferometric sensors and other optical elements (not described).

3 HMD with Interferometric sensors

Apple's patent FIG. 13 below shows an example of interferometric and other optical sensors integrated into Apple Pencil. Whether the interferometric sensors will be a part of a future version of Apple Pencil is unknown at this time.

4. Apple Pencil with interferometric sensors

Today's patent application 20230314185 from Apple is an extremely technical invention and will be better appreciated by engineers, advanced developers the technically savvy. Review the rich details here.

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