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Hours after 3 published Apple Patents revealed an HMD's Eye Tracking that uses Algorithms & IR Light, Ming-Chi Kuo repeats this to clients

1 cover - rendition of apple prototype - Copy


A new rumor report published last night claimed that Apple's upcoming mixed reality headset will be equipped with an advanced eye tracking system that uses algorithms and invisible light, according to Ming-Chi Kuo. Yet 18 hours earlier Apple had revealed these features in a series of new eye tracking patents. 


The quote from Kuo, according MacRumors, states: "Apple's eye tracking system includes a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitting end provides one or several different wavelengths of invisible light, and the receiving end detects the change of the invisible light reflected by the eyeball, and judges the eyeball movement based on the change."


The eye tracking system will feature a transmitter and receiver that can detect and analyze eye movement information, providing users with images and information based on algorithms.


While the report points to a report published by The Information about eye tracking on a future Apple headset, it's far more important to know what Apple's patents have described about eye tracking. The timing of Kuo's remarks on the eye tracking system is most interesting considering that three major Apple patents regarding eye-tracking for a headset was published yesterday. We covered it in a report titled "Apple reveals more depth behind Eye Tracking Systems that are designed for future Mixed Reality Headsets."


Interesting that Kuo mentioned that the headset would provide users with images and information based on algorithms. The information below is from one of Apple's patents on eye tracking yesterday:


"A key to providing accurate eye tracking is knowing the location of the user's eyes with respect to the eye tracking cameras. In some embodiments of an eye tracking system, to accurately determine the location of the user's eyes with respect to the eye tracking cameras, the controller may execute an algorithm that performs a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction using images captured by the eye tracking cameras to generate 3D models of the user's eyes.


The 3D models of the eyes indicate the 3D position of the eyes with respect to the eye tracking cameras, which allows the eye tracking algorithms executed by the controller to accurately track eye movement."


In respect to Kuo mentioning the use of "different wavelengths of invisible light," Apple noted in yesterday's patent:


"In some embodiments, the HMD may include one or more sensors that collect information about the user's environment (video, depth information, lighting information, etc.). The sensors may provide the information to the controller 2030 of the VR/AR system. In some embodiments, sensors may include, but are not limited to, visible light cameras (e.g., video cameras)."


Elsewhere in yesterday's patent, Apple notes: "The eye tracking system may also include a light source (e.g., an IR light source) that emits light (e.g., IR light) towards the user's eyes. A portion of the IR light is reflected off the user's eyes to the eye tracking cameras."


The definition of "invisible light" is "Wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum too short or too long to be detected by the human eye; e.g., ultraviolet and infrared light [IR Light]." Below is an image presented in yesterday's patent pointing to IR Light Sources and an Eye Tracking Camera within their future headset.


2 x APPLE HMD PATENT Eye Tracking Using Eye Odometers RELATED FIGS


In the end, we didn't need Kuo to confirm what Apple had already revealed in their recent patents published 18-21 hours before his commentary.


One last point. Kuo's note reportedly mentioned  that the headset could possibly offer iris recognition. This was covered in an Apple patent back in March 2020.  The patent revealed the following: 


"The biometric sensor is physically coupled to the head-mounted display unit. For example, in the case of identifying the user with iris detection, the biometric sensor may be the eye camera." 


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