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Apple Files an AR Glasses Continuation Patent Establishing that the glasses will also present 'Virtual Content' & More

1 cover ar glasses apple

 

On August 18, 2020 Patently Apple posed a report titled "Apple Wins a Pair of Patents relating to their Future Mixed Reality Glasses" The report noted that Apple's granted patent relates to a head-mounted device such as a pair of mixed reality glasses that is worn on the head of a user may have a camera such as an outwardly facing camera. During operation, the camera can capture a moving image of the real-world environment surrounding a user so that control circuitry in the electronic device can display the real-world content for the user. The user may also be provided a user with computer-generated content (sometimes referred to as virtual content). The head-mounted device may operate in a virtual reality mode in which virtual reality (computer-generated) content is displayed for a user.

 

Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is an overview of a system supporting a pair of glasses; In FIG. 2 we see a support structure #16, which may sometimes be referred to as a housing, may be configured to form a frame of a pair of glasses.

 

2 Apple patent figs 1 & 2 Ar Glasses

 

Today, the Apple blog known as Appleworld.today is incorrectly reporting that Apple's granted patent is a "new patent." No, it's not a new patent, it's a continuation patent of a granted patent issued in August of this year as we've pointed out. The image below from the Appleworld.today blog below illustrates the blog's disinformation.

 

3 X wrong information

 

Everyone and every blog on the planet have made mistakes on a report here or there. I have pointed to this blog's errors once in a while over the last decade because this blog continually confuses granted patents with patent applications and doesn't have a clue what a continuation patent is.

 

It's clear this blog reports on the topic of patents for the sake of gaining clicks.  Not wanting to report on patents as accurately as possible is a disservice to the Apple community and to the various teams at Apple working on Intellectual Property.

 

Okay, so what did Apple actually post last week? Apple posted "continuation patent" 20200342678 titled "Electronic Device with Coordinated Camera and Display Operation."

 

A continuation patent adds to an established patent and the changes are restricted to Apple's patent claims. Apple may update claims to strengthen them, highlight a technology that they want protected or add a new layer of claims to protect it against trolls and so forth. In a patent infringement case, it's the patent claims that make or break a patent.

 

What Notable Changes/Additions came to Light?

 

Right out of the bat, Apple changed their first patent claim's focus. The first thing is to compare the old patent claim #1 to the new patent claim #1 that clearly sets up the new claims in last week's filing. The new patent claims introduce "virtual content" that was missing in the original patent claims amongst new technical points like adding "beam-chasing operations," and more. 

 

Previous Patent Claim #1 (August 2020):

 

"An electronic device, comprising: a display having an adjustable display frame rate; a camera having an adjustable camera frame rate; and control circuitry configured to transition the display and camera between: a first mode in which first content is displayed on the display without displaying real-world content from the camera and in which the camera has a first camera frame rate and the display has a first display frame rate, and a second mode in which second content is displayed on the display that includes real-world content from the camera and overlaid non-real-world content and in which the camera has a second camera frame rate and the display has a second display frame rate, wherein the first camera frame rate is a non-zero frame rate and is less than the second camera frame rate."

 

The New Patent Claim #1 (Oct 2020):

"An electronic device comprising: a display having display pixels; a camera; and control circuitry configured to transition the display and camera between: a first mode in which first image data that includes virtual content is refreshed on the display pixels at a first display frame rate, and in which the camera operates at a first camera frame rate corresponding to the first display frame rate, and a second mode in which second image data that includes real-world content from the camera is refreshed on the display pixels at a second display frame rate that is different than the first display frame rate, and in which the camera operates at a second camera frame rate corresponding to the second display frame rate.

 

All-New claims:

 

Claim #4: The electronic device defined in claim 1, wherein the second image data includes virtual content.

 

Claim #5: The electronic device defined in claim 4, wherein the first image data excludes real-world content from the camera.

 

Claim #6: The electronic device defined in claim 5, wherein the first image data comprises a first set of image frames that are refreshed on the display pixels at the first display frame rate, and the second image data comprises a second set of image frames that are refreshed on the display pixels at the second display frame rate.

 

Claim #7: The electronic device defined in claim 5, wherein the first display frame rate is an integer multiple of the first camera frame rate.

 

Claim #8: The electronic device defined in claim 7, wherein the second display frame rate is an integer multiple of the second camera frame rate.

 

Claim #10: The electronic device defined in claim 1, wherein the control circuitry is configured to perform beam chasing operations using the display and the camera in the first mode and in the second mode.

 

Claim #11: An electronic device comprising: a display; a camera; and control circuitry configured to operate the camera and the display at: a first setting in which the camera captures a first set of image frames at a first camera frame rate, and in which the display displays augmented reality content that includes at least a portion of the captured first set of image frames and non-real-world content, and a second setting in which the camera captures a second set of image frames at a second camera frame rate different than the first camera frame rate, and in which the display displays virtual reality content that includes non-real-world content and excludes the second set of image frames.

 

Claim #18: The electronic device defined in claim 17, wherein the control circuitry is configured to stop the camera from capturing real-world content before the camera is configured to capture real-world content at the third camera frame rate.

 

Claim #20: The electronic device defined in claim 19, wherein the control circuitry is configured to stop the camera from capturing real-world content while the display is configured to operate at the third display frame rate.

 

Apple's continuation patent 20200342678 was published last Thursday by the U.S. Patent Office. You could review our August 2020 granted patent report here.

 

Considering that this is a continuation patent, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.

 

10.51XF - Continuation Patent Report Bar

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