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A new Apple patent reveals the adjustable mechanisms built into Apple Vision Pro that will allow users to tweak its fit

Apple invents an Apple Vision Pro 'Fit Guidance' system & iPhone app to assist users keep their HMD in proper alignment over time

1 cover Fit Guidance for HMDs

Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a patent application from Apple that relates to head-mountable devices like Vision Pro and future smartglasses, and, more particularly, to fit guidance for head-mountable devices.

In December, Mark Gurman noted in his Power On newsletter that Apple Store representatives were given training on how to set Vision Pro up for customers. "The device needs to be customized for each person, and a poor fitting could ultimately ruin the user’s experience. Every step will be carefully orchestrated, including how retail employees approach a customer and how they place the device on a user’s head."

Apple's patent application reveals that even a good initial fitting my not fit the same over time and usage and this "Fit Guidance for HMD" patent clearly shows that Apple will be providing Vision Pro customers with a special app for an iPhone+ that will assist users in taking photos of Vision Pro on their face and receive instructions on how to adjust the fitting for optimal use.

Fit Guidance for Head-Mountable Devices

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.

Many of the functions performed by a head-mountable device are optimally experienced when the components are in their most preferred position and orientation with respect to a user wearing the head-mountable device.

For example, the head-mountable device can include a display that visually outputs display-based information toward the eyes of the user. The position and orientation of the displays relative to the eyes depends, at least in part, on how the head-mountable device is positioned on the face of the user.

Additionally, the head-mountable device, while on the face of the user, can provide greater comfort in particular positions than it would in other positions. For example, the placement may determine where and how the forces (e.g., weight and/or tension) of the head-mountable device are applied to the face.

Face-engaging portions of the head-mountable device can be selected to engage certain portions of the face, but the experience by the user may be less than optimal if such face-engaging portions are placed at locations other than those intended. However, a head-mountable device with a more preferred placement can allow a user to comfortably wear and operate the head-mountable device for a longer duration.

A user or another person placing the head-mountable device on the face of the user may not recognize whether the head-mountable device is in the most optimal position to achieve these results. Accordingly, it can be desirable to provide guidance and/or feedback to the user to assist with placement of the head-mountable device in a preferred position.

Systems described in Apple's patent filing can provide a head-mountable device with interface elements to provide guidance for optimal placement of a head-mountable device. The head-mountable device and/or another electronic device can be operated to guide a user to position the head-mountable device in a manner that will achieve proper alignment of components with respect to the user and maximize user comfort.

For example, the head-mountable device and/or another device can include sensors for detecting features of the user's face, forces distributed on the face when worn, and/or alignment with the face (e.g., eyes). By further example, the head-mountable device and/or another device can detect changes in adjustment and infer user discomfort based on the frequency and/or magnitude of such changes.

Apple's patent FIG. 1 below, in context with focus of the patent being HMD Fit Guidance, the key features include #120 a head engager; #122 a head engager sensor; a track or other guide can be provided for facilitating movement of the camera #130; HMD sensor #170 can detect distance #94 between the head engager and a user's ear; Sensor 170 and/or external sensor 310 can detect a distortion of the user's face such as change in contour or shape and recognize if the user's face is being stretched, bunched, pulled, displaced tracking the changes in skin conditions.  

Apple's patent FIG. 3 below is another perspective of the HMD that detects conditions of an HMD worn by the user.

2 Apple patent figs for HMD Fit Guidance
Apple's patent FIG. 2 above illustrates a perspective view of an electronic device in use to measure distances to different face regions of a user. Electronic device #300 can provide a external sensor #310 that is operable to measure distances to multiple regions of the face #10

The external sensor can include one or more types of sensors. For example, the external sensor can include one or more image sensors, depth sensors, thermal (e.g., infrared) sensors, and the like. By further example, a depth sensor can be configured to measure a distance (e.g., range) to an object (e.g., region of the user's face) via stereo triangulation, structured light, time-of-flight, interferometry, and the like.

Apple states that Electronic Device #300 could be an iPhone, iPad and or MacBook. These devices make sense because they have cameras. So it's interesting that Apple also added an Apple Watch as one of the devices it doesn't offer a camera … at present. Is that a hint that a camera may be added to Apple Watch in the future? Apple has won patents for this: 01 and 02.

Apple's patent FIGS. 4,5,6 and 9 illustrates the user taking images of different angles to ensure the HMD fit is correct.

A Few Key Patent Claim Points

  • Claim1: A head-mountable device comprising: a sensor configured to detect movement of the head-mountable device with respect to a face; a processor configured to: determine whether the movement within a period of time exceeds a threshold; and if the movement within the period of time exceeds the threshold, output an instruction to adjust the head-mountable device and more specifically, to adjust the head engager.
  • The head-mountable device of claim 1, wherein the sensor is an inertial measurement unit.
  • The head-mountable device of claim 1, wherein the sensor is a pressure sensor operable by the processor to detect pressure against the face.
  • The head-mountable device of claim 1, wherein the sensor is an eye sensor operable by the processor to capture a view of an eye.
  • The electronic device of claim 8, wherein the processor is further configured to: detect whether the detected region of the face corresponding to the feature is a target region for engagement by the head-mountable device; and if the detected is not the target region, output the instruction to adjust the head-mountable device.


For full details, review Apple's patent application 20240004459.

10.51FX - Patent Application Bar


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