Apple wins a patent covering a Custom-Fit Face Module for its future HMD that may be a factor in holding back Apple's HMD until Q4 2022+
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to wearable electronic device systems and more specifically, systems designed to ensure that the HMD fits on a user's face comfortably.
The timing of this granted patent is interesting considering that Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's latest investor note to clients states that Apple's HMD will be delayed from Q2 2022 to at least Q4 2022 if not early 2023 – with one of the reasons being Apple's continuing work on providing a "comfortable fit," for their HMDs which is exactly what today's granted patent covers.
Apple's granted patent covers a customized face-fit module that may be selected based on user facial feature characteristics in the three-dimensional image of the user's face such as facial size and the shapes of a user's forehead, nose, and cheeks.
After identifying which version of the face-fit module is to be used by the user, that version of the face-fit module may be coupled to a non-custom portion of a main unit for the head-mounted device using magnets or other coupling structures. The head-mounted device may then be used to display content for the user while the user is wearing the head-mounted device.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 below is a side view of an illustrative head-mounted device being worn on a head of a user; FIG. 4 is a top view of an illustrative head-mounted device having a removable face-fit module; FIG. 5 is a flow chart of illustrative operations associated with using a head-mounted device.
On Sunday Patently Apple posted a report titled "HTC's new VIVE FLOW Immersive VR Glasses interestingly has a few key features that we've covered in a series of Apple patent reports." In that report I pointed to a series of features on HTC's headset mirroring Apple patents on a cooling system; adjustable diopter lens system; spatial audio; and using a smartphone as a VR controller.
Today's granted patent that describes the use of a custom fit unit snapping on the HMD via magnets is yet another patented feature that HTC's HMD will be using as presented in the graphic below. This is Apple's second patent for this invention dating back to at least 2018.
For more details, and specifically Apple's 17 new patent claims, review Apple's granted patent 11,150,474.