Apple advances their Work on Smart Fabrics & Augmented Reality used with AR Glasses and Smart Car Windshield
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) published a number of continuous patents which allow Apple to add new invention claims as Apple continues to work to bring a product to market. While there are many continuation patents published every week, Patently Apple only covers those that are part of higher profile inventions that have a chance of coming to market over time. Today's report covers continuation patents for smart fabrics and Augmented Reality that will be used on AR Glasses
Making Smart Fabric
In March 2019 Apple was granted a patent for "Conductive Strands for Fabric-Based Items." Today, USPTO published continuation patent 20190191557 that provides an alternative fabric make up to their granted patents.
In the March Patent, Apple's invention focused on "A conductive strand for carrying signals within a fabric, comprising: an elongated polymer core with recesses."
A conductive strand for carrying signals within a fabric, comprising: an elongated polymer core with recesses;
In today's continuation patent Apple's Engineers focus on an alternative smart fabric construction beginning with "A conductive strand for carrying signals within a fabric, comprising: an elongated conductive core; an intermediate layer that covers the elongated conductive core."
In today's continuation patent Apple adds patent claim for a fabric based item not listed in the March patent. Apple states: "A fabric-based item, comprising: a fabric formed from intertwined strands, wherein the intertwined strands include a conductive strand; and electrical components that are interconnected using a signal path formed from the conductive strand, wherein the conductive strand comprises: a core; a conductive coating layer; and an intermediate layer between the core and the conductive coating layer."
The patent defines "a fabric-based item" as a wrist arm or head band.
Representing a Virtual Object in a Real Environment
Patently Apple posted a patent report back in April 2017 titled "A new Apple Patent Filing Covers one of Metaio's Original 2008 Augmented Reality Inventions. Apple was granted that patent back last August.
The invention is part of Apple's AR tool foundation. During WWDC 2019's keynote starting at around the 1:59:25 mark of the keynote. Apple's Craig Federighi talked about advances to ARKit, RealityKit and Reality Composer. Merging 2D with 3D objects into one scene is the key and Apple's continuous patent 20190188915 advances Apple's invention.
Most of the "additions" Apple has added relates to "A computer readable medium" starting at patent claims 9 through 15. Claim #9 states that "A computer readable medium for representing a virtual object in a real environment, comprising computer readable code executable by one or more processors to: obtain at least one two-dimensional (2D) image of a real environment captured by a recording device; obtain three-dimensional (3D) information regarding the at least one 2D image; initiate a segmenting method, based at least in part on the 3D information, to segment at least one area of the real environment represented in the at least one 2D image; produce 2D segmentation data based upon the segmenting; and merge the virtual object with the real environment, based at least in part upon the 2D segmentation data.
Apple also updated attributes of "the system" under patent claims 11-15 that you could review in today's patent here.
During the WWDC keynote there was a lot of reaction to how seamless it looked to see a person walking around an AR environment. Accuracy is vital as Apple notes in patent point #0052 that their AR technology could one day be used in a "head-up display of a vehicle, whereby information is displayed to the driver before his eye by means of the windshield of the vehicle."
This technology was also covered in an August 2018 report titled "Apple Invents an Augmented Reality Windshield that will even Support FaceTime Calls between Different Vehicles."
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