Apple wins a patent for speakers on Smart Glasses that could play music or phone calls externally while providing a 'Privacy Mode'
Apple was Granted 57 Patents today covering the Design of Apple Ventura Florida Store and Apple Vision Pro

Apple wins a patent for a Vision Pro 'Privacy Cloak' feature that allows 2 people in a Virtual Conference to hold a Private Conversation

1 Cover  Apple Vision Pro image -

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to a possible future Apple Vision Pro feature that will allow two Vision Pro wearers to hold a private conversation within a Virtua Conference Call / FaceTime Conference Call.

Private Conversations In A Virtual Setting

One aspect of today's granted patent is a method for allowing the first user with Vision Pro to engage in a private conversation with a second user wearing Vision Pro.

 The private conversation may take place while both users are participating in a computer-generated reality (CGR) setting (or environment).

To participate, each user with Vision Pro that is configured to present the CGR setting by displaying a graphical representation of the CGR setting on a display screen and driving a speaker using an audio signal containing sounds of the CGR setting.

Each user may be represented by an avatar within the CGR setting, such that the avatar may perform actions (e.g., moving within the CGR setting) in response to user-commands. In addition, speech of each user may be picked up by microphones of the user's HMD and be projected into the CGR setting, as if said by the user's avatar. As a result, several users may conduct a virtual conference through their respective avatars within a same CGR setting (e.g., a virtual conference room), regardless of the user's physical location. For instance, the first and second users may be sitting side-by-side, each wearing their own HMDs, while other users may participate in the virtual conference from different physical locations.

To initiate the private conversation, the HMD/Vision Pro of the first user obtains sensor data from a sensor (e.g., an accelerometer, a gyroscope, etc.) that indicates a movement of the first user. For example, since the HMD is worn on the head of the first user, sensor data may indicate that the user's head has moved or tilted. The HMD determines whether to initiate a private conversation between the first user and the second user from this movement.

Returning to the previous example, the HMD of the first user may determine that the first user is attempting to initiate a private conversation with the second user because the first user's head is tilting towards the second user, who may be sitting right next to the first user.

Such a movement may be indicative of the first user trying to lean towards the second user in order to whisper something in the second user's ear.

In this way, upon determining that the first user is trying to say something private to the second user, the HMD causes a virtual/visual privacy cloak to activate in the CGR setting that includes the first and second user's avatars.

A privacy cloak is a visual indication that the first and second users are engaged in a private conversation, where speech of either user is not projected out of the privacy cloak and into a remainder of the CGR setting for others to hear. Instead, the HMDs of the first and second users may establish a two-way private audio channel so that both users may talk freely without concern that others who are participating in the CGR setting can hear what they are saying.

Apple's patent FIG. 1 below shows two users that engage in a private conversation in a computer-generated reality (CGR) setting.

(Click on Patent Figure to Enlarge) 2 Privacy Cloak feature for Apple Vision Pro

In Apple's patent claims they noted that "the physical characteristic comprises a movement of the first user, wherein the movement comprises either a hand movement, an eye movement, a head movement, or a combination thereof." So the trigger for this feature isn't restricted to a "head tilt" movement as presented in Apple's summary.

When you say 'Avatar', many People instantly think of 'Avatars' in the form of Memojis/cartoon-like characters. Yet as we know with Apple Vision Pro, the Avatar of users are lifelike as the image from Apple's WWDC-23 keynote shown below. The user's image is captured on a Vision Pro camera during the "enrollment process."  You could review that segment discussing this in Apple's WWDC-23 Keynote here starting at the 1 hour, 52 second mark.

(Click on image below) 3 Realistic Avatar from Vision Pro's camera - initiation process

There are many interesting details to discover in Apple's granted patent 11812194

10.52FX - Granted Patent Bar




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