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Meta Kick-Starts 2024 by Jamming through a Series of Patents related to True Smartglasses & Accessories

1 cover Facebook camera glasses

Facebook introduced their 'camera' glasses back in September (2023) that they like to categorize as 'smartglasses.' Their current glasses don't pack much of a punch without a powerful AR OS.  Meta understands that they're in a race to deliver full blown smartglasses to gain a marketing advantage over Apple.  Behind the scenes, Facebook's engineers are working on true smartglasses and pushing out as many patents as they possibly can to support this objective.

Back in late 2019, Mark Zuckerberg noted that Meta's Project Orion is to make smartglasses a smartphone replacement. One of the patents that we cover in this report provides a new patent figure supporting an AR User Interface that will pop-up when a call is coming in, giving users the ability to accept or decline the call. Proof that replacing a smartphone is one of Meta's key objectives. Though more realistically in the short to medium term, Meta's future smartglasses are likely to work in concert with established smartphones, running both Android and iOS rather than replacing a smartphone.

Overall, Today's report covers a series of 9 smartglasses patents and one for a smart wrist device.

AR Glasses Wristband Input Device

In August 2021 Patently Apple / Patently Mobile posted a patent report titled "The U.S. Patent Office has Published Facebook's Patent behind their Future AR Glasses Wristband Input Device" which included the video below.

Facebook was granted a second patent for this wrist device last Tuesday titled "Wearable Device Providing For Thumb-to-finger-based Input Gestures Detected."  The patent generally relates to wearable devices and methods for sensing neuromuscular signals (e.g., used to determine motor actions that the user intends to perform with their hand), and more particularly, to arm-wearable devices including a wearable structure configured to detect neuromuscular signals based on actual or intended movements of a user's thumb to contact a portion of a user's fingers.

In Facebook's FIG. 1B below, the data provided by the wearable device #110, to the computing device #120a that causes the computing device to perform at least one input command within a user interface generated #140 that can also apply to all other artificial-reality environments, including the AR environment depicted in FIG. 1B. For example, the computing device #120b can receive the data and perform the at least one input command within a user interface #160 generated at least in part by the computing device #120b; FIGS. 2A and 2B illustrate portions of a user's hand associated with one or more input commands. 

2 Facebook Smartglasses watch-like accessory

In some embodiments, the plurality of neuromuscular sensors #810 are used in pairs to form respective channels for detecting the neuromuscular signals. In some embodiments, the wearable device includes at least six pairs of sensors (e.g., as shown in FIG. 8C). For more details review Facebook's / Meta's granted patent #11868531.

The Latest Facebook/Meta's Smartglasses Patents

02: AR Device to Increase Thermal Budget.

An artificial reality device has a component, which component is configured to enable a visual associated with artificial reality programs to a user, as well as at least one heat source and a contact point. The contact point is specially configured to accommodate an accessory, which accessory is specially configured to extend the thermal headroom of the artificial reality device.

3 Facebook patent 2 for smartglasses

Meta's patent FIG. 2 above illustrates an example head mounted display (HMD) with a one or more contact points.

03: Coexistence of Active Dimming Display Layers and Antennas

The disclosed system may include a support structure, a lens mounted to the support structure, where the lens includes at least one conductive layer that includes conductive material, and an antenna disposed on the support structure within a specified maximum distance from the lens. Various characteristics of the lens or the antenna may be modified to reduce coupling between the antenna and the layer of conductive material in the lens. Various other wearable devices, apparatuses, and methods of manufacturing are also disclosed.

One such apparatus is presented in Meta's patent FIG. 9 below. Neckband #905 generally represents any type or form of paired device. As shown, the neckband  may be coupled to eyewear device #902 via one or more connectors.

4 Meta patent  fig. 9 Neckband

In some embodiments, the components of eyewear device #902 and neckband #905 may be located on one or more additional peripheral devices paired with eyewear device, neckband, or some combination thereof. Pairing external devices, such as neckband, with augmented-reality eyewear devices may enable the eyewear devices to achieve the form factor of a pair of glasses while still providing sufficient battery and computation power for expanded capabilities.

04: Methods, Apparatuses and Computer Program Products for Providing and Eye Tracking System based on Flexible around the Lens or Frame Illuminations Sources

Meta noted in their patent that eye-tracking may be used in some head-mounted display (HMD) devices. Some eye-tracking techniques are image-based and use near-infrared (NIR) illumination sources and cameras to track pupil and corneal reflections (e.g., glints). These reflections may be used to determine the direction of the user's gaze. To reduce the gaze error, it may be important to generate enough separated bright glints from inside the spherical region of the cornea close to the pupil center at a variety of possible gaze directions (e.g., ideally, all possible gaze directions).

To promote utility, it is desirable for an eye-tracking system to be able to detect gaze direction accurately for a broad population with a variety of eye shapes, eye sizes, head shapes, and head sizes, as well as different degrees of vision impairment.

It is also desirable for an eye-tracking system to detect gaze direction accurately across a variety of use cases or scenarios. It is important for components of an eye-tracking system to balance system design criteria, such as low power consumption, size, weight, reliability, manufacturability, and cost.

5. Meta patent figs 1  3 and 12A

Meta's patent FIG. 3 above illustrates a perspective view of a near-eye display in the form of a pair of glasses; FIG. 1 illustrates a block diagram of an artificial reality system environment including a near-eye display; FIG. 12A is a diagram illustrating a frame of smart glasses including LEDs mounted around a lens or the frame.

Other Smartglasses related Meta Patents include the following:

05: Multi-Layer Lens for Virtual Reality Optics

06: Methods, Apparatuses and Computer Program Products for Proving Multi-Functional Optical Modules with Micro-Light Emitting Diodes as Eye Tracking Illumination Sources

07: Optical Assemblies, Head-Mounted Displays and Related matters

08: Gaze-Based User Interface wit Assistant Features for Smartglasses in Immersive Reality Applications.

In a first embodiment, a computer-implemented method is provided that includes identifying an eye gesture of the user of a smart glass, based on an eye-tracking signal indicative of a pupil location of the user, assessing a user intention for an application displayed in a user interface in the smart glass based on the eye gesture, and activating the application based on the user intention.

In a second embodiment, a device is provided that includes at least one of a left eyepiece or a right eyepiece mounted on a frame, an eye-tracking device configured to identify a pupil location for a user, and a processor configured to receive a signal from the eye-tracking device, the signal indicative of a user intention with the application interface, and to activate the application interface based on the user intention.

6 Meta Patent figures

Meta's patent FIG. 4 above illustrates a smart glass including a menu with multiple icons in a display; FIG. 5. illustrates a smart glass including a call pickup and a call hung up icon in a display, wherein the user selects one of the icons by a gaze pointing.

09: Optical Assembly with Micro Light Emitting Diode (LED) as Eye Tracking Near Infrared (NIR) Illumination Source

10: Adaptive ANC based on Environmental Triggers

7 Meta ANC patent fig.

10.0x35 Patently Mobile


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