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In the future, Apple Vision Pro could include a wide-array of embedded sensors in its Head Band to monitor Brain Activity & more


Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a patent application from Apple that relates to a possible future version of the Apple Vision headband that may contain a processor and health sensors configured to monitor a user's brain activity. The sensors could also detect physiological, biological, and/or biometric changes of the user's body.

Health Sensing Retention Band

Apple's invention covers the Vision Pro's  head band that may include a sensor to monitor a user's brain activity. In some examples, the head band or 'retention band' includes a sensor array positionable adjacent a back of a head of the user when Apple Vision is worn. The sensor array can detect brain activity of the user. The sensor can transmit a signal to the processor, the signal based on the biometric information. The processor can analyze the signal and cause Vision Pro to perform an action in response to the analysis of the signal. The action can be at least one of providing a visual feedback, providing an audio feedback, or providing a haptic feedback.

The sensor can be removably attached to the retention band or embedded in the band. The retention band can be in electrical communication with the display. The sensor can perform at least one of functional near-infrared spectroscopy or electroencephalography. This future version of Vision Pro can further include a second sensor connected to the retention band that collects a user's vital signs. One of the markets that Apple is focusing on for Vision Pro is the medical  field and today's patent application dives deep into it's use in analyzing brain activity.

More specifically, the integrated retention band can enable both optical and electrical neural imaging of the user's head. In some examples, the sensor-integrated headband can be used for brain imaging. For example, the sensors can be configured to perform functional near-infrared spectroscopy (FNIR). In some examples, the sensors can be used to perform EEG (electroencephalography).

The retention band can be adjustable or articulable to position the sensors at desired locations on the user's head. By having the ability to adjust the retention band, the sensors can observe specific areas of the brain. For example, the position of the sensors can be tuned or tailored to look at brain areas related to language, learning, memory, comprehension, sleep, stress, pain, attention, fear, discomfort, etc.

In some examples, the retention band can be integrated with a sensor array that includes one or more transmitters that emit a signal. The transmitter(s) can be positioned a certain distance away from one or more detectors that sense the emitted signal. Based on the received signals by the detectors, a processor can infer or determine certain brain activity. In some examples, the integrated sensors on the retention band form a brain-computer interface (BCI), such as a non-invasive neural interface. In some examples, the integrated sensor array can be used to detect the parieto-frontal network of the brain.

This future version of Vision Pro will include an output or feedback module that provides feedback based on the detections from the sensors. The feedback from the system can include displaying visualizations to the user.

Apple's patent FIG. 2 below illustrates a possible future version Vision Pro that includes a first sensor array #212a which can be positioned on the back of the retention band / head band #208. The second sensor array #212b can be positioned on a side strap or arm of the retention band.  

In some examples, the sensors #212 can be used to perform EEG detections. The sensors can measure the electrical activity in the cerebral cortex (the outer layer of the brain). The sensors can include electrodes that are placed on a participant's head, then the electrodes can non-invasively detect brainwaves from the subject.

The EEG sensors can record up to several thousands of snapshots of the electrical activity generated in the brain every second. The recorded brainwaves can be sent to amplifiers, then to the HMD computer, a remote electronic device, or the cloud to process the data.

In some examples, the sensors can be used to perform functional near-infrared spectroscopy (FNIR). The sensors 212 can use low levels of non-ionizing light to record changes in cerebral blood flow in the brain through the optical sensors 212 placed on the surface of the scalp. The signals can be recorded via flexible fiber optic cables.


Some particular examples of sensors include an electrooculography (EOG) sensor, electrocardiography (ECG or EKG) sensor, EEG (electroencephalography), photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor heart rate sensor, hear rate variability sensor, blood volume pulse sensor, oxygen saturation (SpO2) sensor, compact pressure sensor, electromyography (EMG) sensor, core-body temperature sensor, galvanic skin response (GSR) sensor, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (FNIR) sensor, functional magnetic infrared imaging (FMRI) sensor, non-contact passive infrared (IR) sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, inclinometer, barometer, infrared sensor, global positioning system sensor, etc.

Lastly, Apple notes that In some examples, the sensor arrays #512 can flexible and capable of bending or curving to according to a shape of the retention band on the user's head. In some examples, the sensors include flex cables and/or optical fibers or fiber optic cables that are woven into the fabric of the retention band. In some examples, the retention band can include conductive fibers woven into the fabric of the retention band.

For full details, review Apple's patent application 20240090818.  

10.51FX - Patent Application Bar


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