Apple Invents a VR Headset Display System with an Adaptable Facial Interface that provides a Customized Fit
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to their future VR headset and more specifically to a system that will provide users with the ability to customize the headset's fit on their face so that it's comfortable and snug.
Head-mounted displays are worn on heads of user and engage the face thereof. However, by engaging the face, the head-mounted display may restrict facial movements and may additionally be moved by such facial movements.
Apple's invention covers implementations of head-mounted displays and facial interfaces. In one implementation, a head-mounted display for being worn on a head of a user includes a display assembly and a facial interface. The display assembly includes a display. The facial interface is coupled to the display assembly for supporting the display assembly on a face of the user.
The facial interface includes a first facial support that engages an upper facial region above eyes of the user and a second facial support that engages a lower facial region below the eyes of the user.
In a reference position, in which the head-mounted display is worn on the head of the user and the user is upright and looking forward, a first vertical stiffness provided by the first facial support between the display assembly in a vertical direction and the upper facial region is greater than a second vertical stiffness provided by the second facial support between the display assembly and the lower facial region in the vertical direction.
The head-mounted display may further include a head interface coupled to the display assembly that engages the head of the user to support the display assembly, which in the reference position, may be in tension and compress the facial interface between the display assembly and the face of the user.
The head-mounted display may further include a light seal that conforms to the face of the user and/or extend below the second facial support to block environmental light from reaching the eyes of the user, the light seal extending below the second facial support.
The facial interface may further include a light seal that engages a face below the lower portion. The lower portion may include a lower facial support having a pivot mechanism that provides the lower shear compliance, which may include one of an elongated roller, a spherical roller, or a multi-axis gimbal and a spring that provides normal compliance in a normal direction.
Apple's patent FIG. 1A below is a front view of a head-mounted display unit on a head-mounted display unit on a head of a user; FIG. 1B is a side view of the head-mounted display unit on the head; FIG. 2A is a front view of a facial interface of the head-mounted display unit of FIG. 1A interfacing with facial engagement regions of the head; FIG. 2B is a side view of the facial interface of FIG. 2A and a head interface interfacing with the facial engagement regions of the head.
Apple's patent FIG. 8A above is a rear view of an embodiment of a facial support for the facial interface; FIG. 8B is a top view of the facial support of FIG. 8A; FIG. 8C is a side view of the facial support of FIG. 8A; and FIG. 11 is a schematic view of a control system.
For finer details, review Apple's patent application number 20210041706. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.