The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 42 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover two augmented reality patents with emphasis placed on Apple's advanced 'gaze prediction technology. Our report also points to five design patents granted to Apple today and, as always, we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
HMD with Foveated Display and Gaze Prediction
Apple's granted patent titled "Electronic device with foveated display and gaze prediction" covers an advanced gaze tracking and prediction system for a head-mounted display device using high-end foveated displays that could be used to play video games and more. Because of the sophistication of the camera system for gaze controls working with foveated displays, the likelihood of this invention being for a full headset vs glasses is very high.
Gaze tracking is key to a head-mounted display and Apple has published a series of patents on the subject for their future headset (01, 02, 03 and 04 and more). No one patent holds all of the keys to a gaze tracking system and Apple has various teams working on this to ensure that they get the best system for the right device and application.
The focus and priority of today's granted patent is on "Gaze Prediction," which is mentioned 24 times within Apple's 27 patent claims alone.
Electronic devices that include foveated displays and gaze tracking systems may include, for example, head-mounted displays, see-through augmented-reality glasses, cellular telephones, tablet computers, head-up displays in vehicles and other environments, laptop computers, desktop computers, televisions, wristwatches, and other suitable electronic equipment.
At one point in the patent, it states that "Display #14 [of FIG. 1] may be used to display content to a user for a wholly or partially simulated environment," like a video game. Apple notes that just as a video game controller or a user's gestures or screen taps or mouse clicks, a user's "gaze on the display such as titling, turning or rotating the head can be used as a form of user input to system 10," which is the HMD of FIG. 1 below.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is a schematic diagram of an illustrative electronic device with a foveated display while FIG. 2 is a diagram an illustrative gaze tracking system; FIG. 5 is a flow chart of illustrative steps for operating a foveated display with gaze prediction.
Apple notes in their filing that the human gaze is subject to rapid, jerky eye movements shifting from one fixation point to another, a phenomenon known as saccades. Saccadic movements of the human eye can make it more challenging for graphics processing unit (FIG. 1 #102 above) to render foveated image data that keeps up with the user's actual point of gaze.
In Apple's gaze prediction system #100 presented in patent FIG. 1 above helps the gaze tracking system #16 predict the saccadic landing position (the user's final point of gaze) during a saccade. The gaze prediction system predicts the saccadic landing position before the gaze tracking system identifies the user's actual final point of gaze at the end of the saccade.
For more on this, review Apple's granted patent 10,890,968
A second AR patent was granted to Apple today titled "Providing features of an electronic product in an augmented reality environment." For more on this, review granted patent 10,891,800.
Top Apple Design Patents Granted Today
The Remaining Patents Granted to Apple Today
Prior to this final report, Patently Apple posted three specific granted patent reports as follows:
Apple has Won Two Project Titan Patents covering Systems for next-gen safety belts and Real-Time Depth sensing http://bit.ly/3sli3mw
Apple Wins a Patent for Possible next-gen iPhone case with integrated AirPods that are inductively Charged and more http://bit.ly/2XxIO9j
Apple Wins Patent for an Authentication System making it Quick and Easy for users to Unlock Multiple Devices http://bit.ly/39n8zP3