A new Facebook Patent provides us with an overview of their plans for AR Smartglasses, a Futuristic AR Headband, Smartgloves & more
Last Thursday, Patently Apple posted a report titled "Ray-Ban launched first-gen Smartglasses with partner Facebook today, who just happened to win a patent for future AR Glasses last month." While our report provided a video and overview of the new smartglasses, it was clear that their first generation smartglasses didn't provide augmented reality (AR) software or functionality. We did, however, point to a newly granted patent from Facebook in mid-august that illustrated a future generation of Facebook's smartglasses that would include AR capabiities. We also noted that we would follow-up on Facebook's AR Glasses patent on the weekend, time permitting, and below is an overview of their granted patent.
Facebook's granted patent introduced us to a series of AR related devices and accessories starting with patent FIG. 1 below illustrating a rather futuristic AR headband.
Facebook's patent FIG. 1 illustrated below presents system #100 that may include a frame (#102) and a camera assembly (#104) that is coupled to the frame and configured to gather information about a local environment by observing the local environment.
The AR system may also include one or more audio devices, such as output audio transducers (#108(A) and #108(B)) and input audio transducers (#110). Output audio transducers may provide audio feedback and/or content to a user, and input audio transducers may capture audio in a user's environment.
As shown, the augmented-reality system may not necessarily include a Near-Eye Device (NED) positioned in front of a user's eyes. Augmented-reality systems without NEDs may take a variety of forms, such as head bands, hats, hair bands, belts, watches, wrist bands, ankle bands, rings, neckbands, necklaces, chest bands, eyewear frames, and/or any other suitable type or form of apparatus. While the augmented-reality system may not include an NED, the AR system may include other types of screens or visual feedback devices (e.g., a display screen integrated into side of frame #102).
Facebook's patent FIG. 4 above presents accessories including a glove and wrist-band devices. FIG. 4 illustrates a vibrotactile system #400 in the form of a wearable glove (haptic device #410) and wristband (haptic device #420). The Haptic examples of wearable devices that include a flexible, wearable textile material (#430) that is shaped and configured for positioning against a user's hand and wrist, respectively.
Facebook's patent FIGS. 10A and 10D are examples of pinch-style gestures for the smartgloves that the controller will translate into various actions or access certain features.
Facebook's patent FIG. 5 below illustrates an Oculus style device working with the new accessories (glove and wristband); In patent FIG. 6, we're able to see that Facebook's future AR Glasses could be accompanied by a smart wristband or watch accessory that will assist in translating a user's hand and/or finger pinch gesture commands.
Not to be limited to glove and wristband accessories, Facebook's patent reveals that their overall artificial-reality system may include other types of devices such as a body suit, handheld controllers, environmental devices (e.g., chairs, floormats, etc.), and/or any other type of device or system.
The haptic feedback systems may also provide various types of cutaneous feedback, including vibration, force, traction, texture, and/or temperature. Haptic feedback systems may also provide various types of kinesthetic feedback, such as motion and compliance.
Haptic feedback may be implemented using motors, piezoelectric actuators, fluidic systems, and/or a variety of other types of feedback mechanisms. Haptic feedback systems may be implemented independent of other artificial-reality devices, within other artificial-reality devices, and/or in conjunction with other artificial-reality devices.
Some systems may enhance a user's interactions with other people in the real world or may enable more immersive interactions with other people in a virtual world. Artificial-reality systems may also be used for educational purposes (e.g., for teaching or training in schools, hospitals, government organizations, military organizations, business enterprises, etc.), entertainment purposes (e.g., for playing video games, listening to music, watching video content, etc.), and/or for accessibility purposes (e.g., as hearing aids, visuals aids, etc.).
In case you missed our Thursday's report, we're including Facebook's patent FIG. 2 below that illustrates an exemplary pair of augmented-reality glasses that may be used in connection with a neckband. While Apple could use the iPhone, Facebook has decided to go with a neckband.
Facebook more specifically notes that pairing external devices, such as neckband #205, with augmented-reality eyewear devices may enable the eyewear devices to achieve the form factor of a pair of glasses while still providing sufficient battery and computation power for expanded capabilities.
Facebook's patent further states that some or all of the battery power, computational resources, and/or additional features of augmented-reality system #200 may be provided by a paired device or shared between a paired device and an eyewear device, thus reducing the weight, heat profile, and form factor of the eyewear device overall while still retaining desired functionality.
For more details, review Facebook's granted patent 11,093,035 that was issued by USPTO on August 17, 2021.