Apple invented a video headset back in 2006 and was granted a patent for it in September 2009. Since that time Apple has added a few inventions to keep their project evolving over time (one, two), with the most recent mention of a headset being noted in a patent application relating to hidden audio sensors. Over the weekend we covered a patent that Apple acquired from PrimeSense regarding an advanced headset to add to Apple's patent portfolio on head mounted displays. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a knockout granted patent for a detailed head mounted head display that resembles the Oculus Rift which is the buzz of the gaming world at the moment. Apple's patent makes it clear that gaming is one of the main entertainment options for this device. It's also designed to be a personal display system so that you could enjoy full HD widescreen experiences on the go with your iPhone or at Home with your Apple TV. Without a doubt, it's the surprise granted patent of the year.
Apple Granted Patent for Knockout Head Mounted Display
Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to a head mounted display that's a shocker. Apple obviously filed this under the names of their engineering team originally as this didn't surface as a patent application under Apple. Therefore we'll cover this fantastic patent in full detail as if it were a patent application report.
Apple's Patent Background
Users of electronic devices may view media on different types of screens. For example, users may view media on a screen integrated in the electronic device such as an iPod for example. As another example, users may couple the electronic device to a separate display and direct the display to provide the media. For example, users may couple a computer to a screen and display media on the computer screen. As another example, users may direct a television to display media streamed or downloaded from an electronic device such as an Apple TV to display content from a user's computer on a television.
For users who wish to view media provided by an electronic device when they're traveling, integrated displays may be limiting. Such users may instead desire a personal display system with which the user may appear to view media on a large display (e.g., on a home television) while in fact using a portable display system. Such users may also desire a personal display that is visible only to the user (e.g., for viewing private or sensitive content).
Accordingly, there is a need for a personal display system with which users can privately view media provided by an electronic device. In particular, there is a need for a head-mounted display for allowing users to view media.
Apple Invents New Personal Display System
Apple's invention is about a system relating to a personal display for viewing media provided by an electronic device.
A personal goggle system for presenting a personal display of media is provided. The goggle system may include an outer cover, a frame and a display generation component. To enhance the appearance and aesthetic appeal of the goggle system, the outer cover and frame may be designed to resemble ski or motorcycle goggles (e.g., covering only the user's eyes, with a foam layer against the user's face).
In some embodiments, the outer layer may include one or more surfaces covering the frame. The surfaces may be curved or flat, and may include one or more features for customizing or enhancing the appearance of the outer cover. For example, the outer layer may include a curved surface on which a graphic or design may be painted, fixed (e.g., a sticker), carved, sculpted, molded, or embedded using any other suitable process. To further customize or personalize the goggle system, the outer cover may be removable and replaceable (e.g., for a user to change the appearance of the goggle system at different times).
The goggle frame may be constructed from one or several components. For example, the goggle frame may include at least one of a mid-frame or spacer, an inner cover, and a mounting frame. The frame may include one or more features operative to receive the outer cover (e.g., a surface against which the outer cover is glued, or a catch mechanism for engaging the outer cover). The mid-frame may form the structural component to which the remaining components of the goggle system are coupled. For example, the inner cover, which may support the mounting frame (which in turn may support the display generation component) may be coupled to the mid-frame. The mid-frame and outer cover may be constructed from any suitable material, including for example from a flexible material operative to bend or flex to match the shape of a user's face.
The goggle system may include any suitable display generation component. For example, the goggle system may include two display generation components operative to provide the displayed images for each eye. In some embodiments, the display generation components may be moved relative the goggle frame to be placed opposite the user's eyes (e.g., move or tilt the display generation components to align them with the user's eyes). The display generation components may be operative to provide different images for each eye. For example, the components may offset the images to give the user the illusion of viewing media in three dimensions. As another example, the components may provide different images for each eye based on the eyesight corrections needed by the user (e.g., change the focus to reflect an eyesight prescription). In some embodiments, the display generation components may provide the displayed images on a lens coupled to the frame (e.g., attached to the inner cover).
The goggle system may include a foam layer adjacent the frame that rests against the user's face. The foam may serve to prevent ambient light from entering the goggle system and affecting the images displayed on the lens. The foam layer may be formed from any suitable compressible material, including for example different types of foam or flock. In some embodiments, the foam may be more compressible in regions where a user's eyeglasses contact the frame to enhance the comfort of the goggle system.
Apple states that "a darkened inner surface may enhance a user's experience by giving the user the impression of being in a theater or other optimal environment for viewing media."
Entertainment, Video Games
Entertainment system 2400, displayed in FIG. 24, may include goggle system 2401 and iDevice wired or unwired (as shown in FIG. 26). The electronic device could be any suitable electronic device for providing media to the goggle system such as, a computer, a cellular telephone, a mobile communications device, a personal media device, a gaming device, a set-top box, a television system, or any other suitable electronic device.
Adjusts to a User's Eyes
Interestingly Apple states that "if a user is myopic in one eye, the optical module associated with that eye may modify the image displayed to correct the user's myopia. The goggle system may determine the correction required for each eye, if any, using any suitable approach. For example, the user may enter a glasses or contact lens prescription that indicates the required correction. As another example, each optical module may automatically analyze the user's eyes, and determine the adjustment needed based on the analysis. This may allow users who normally wear glasses to use the goggle system without their glasses, which may lead to discomfort.
Apple notes that the goggle system may be operative to store a user's display generation component settings in memory. For example, the goggle system may store eyesight correction values (if any), the position of the display generation components (e.g., along 3 axes), a preferred volume level, or any other preference related to the user's interaction with the system. When the user puts on the goggle system, the system may identify the user and retrieve from memory the goggle system settings associated with the user.
Fingerprint Scan, Retina Scan, Voiceprint Analysis
Apple describes the goggle system being able to identify a user in response to a user input (e.g., the user logs in, or selects a particular profile from a menu), or the goggle system may automatically identify the user (e.g., using a retina or fingerprint scan, or voiceprint analysis).
Apple credits Christopher Prest, John Tang and Evans Hankey as the inventors of granted patent 8,605,008 which was originally filed in Q2 2008 and only published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Apple Granted Three Design Patents Today
Apple was granted three design patents today covering Apple Keyboard (wired), the body of the new iPod nano and a connector. The keyboard design patent under number D695,291 lists the late CEO Steve Jobs as one of the inventors.
Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments.
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