Apple was granted a patent for specialty Augmented Reality display back in November 2017. We covered this development in a report titled "Apple Wins Patent for a Possible Future Augmented Reality Display Designed for Macs & Beyond." Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application / continuation patent regarding this invention with a new theme being added to its patent claims.
AppleWorld Today reporting on this published patent earlier today got it wrong again which is common for that site regarding patents. The reporter still can't get it straight as to what a granted patent is as he's constantly reporting, like today, that the published patent is one that is being granted to Apple. No, the invention was granted to Apple back in November.
Did AppleWorld Today's reporter provide us with a clue as to what changed in Apple's invention from November? No, because this is all new to him. I think it's a disservice to constantly report on Apple patents incorrectly.
While no one is perfect, you'd think that after years of reporting on patents that this reporter would take the time to at least learn the very basics such as the difference between a patent application, a continuation patent and a granted patent. These are the ABC's of patent reporting.
So what did Apple update their November granted patent with? The granted patent placed emphasis on a motion sensor as noted in Claim #1: "wherein the processor generates a movable transparent window on the display, wherein external objects behind the electronic device are viewable through the movable transparent window, and wherein the processor positions the movable transparent window on the display based on the motion sensor data."
In Apple's published continuation patent today, we see that Apple is adding a new focus in their patent claims covering an adjustable opacity layer. Apple notes in patent claim #1: "An electronic device, comprising: an adjustable opacity layer; a processor configured to adjust the adjustable opacity layer to have a transparent portion and an opaque portion; and a display configured to display content that overlaps the opaque portion of the adjustable opacity layer.
Out of 20 patent claims, 13 of them include mention of the opacity layer that is not mentioned even once in the original patent claims. That's what was made public today, and not that Apple had won a patent for this invention.
While Apple has gone full tilt for Augmented Reality with ARKit and just yesterday published a new AR promotions page, we know that Apple has been working on a specialty AR display for Macs.
Whether this invention ever comes to market is an open question, but while there's more activity on this invention as we've seen today, it's still an idea Apple is advancing.
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