Apple has revealed in three newly unveiled patents on augmented reality that it will continue to work on smart rings to help detect users’ movements, play relevant audio in AR headshows and locate virtual objects in the real world.
Apple describes an AR head-on device-mounted audio mode in U.S. Patent No. 20190349662. This is especially useful for head shows that have other devices installed in front of the user’s eyes, such as the iPhone. The patent says the head display can be configured to determine whether a mobile device is mounted on the head base, then send the audio signal from the device processor to the wireless headset, and change one or more audio modes in the mobile device or wireless headset. As a result, when the iPhone is installed in the head display, the audio can be automatically routed to the speaker. If not, use the iPhone’s own speakers.
Another patent application number, 20190346938, describes a device with a fabric that can be mounted on a finger that acts as a smart ring to provide the necessary motion information. The patent says the use of wearable devices to collect inputs used to control electronic devices can be challenging. If not careful, devices such as gloves may affect the user’s ability to feel the surrounding objects, may not be comfortable to use, or may not be able to collect appropriate input from the user. The devices described in the patent can include components such as force sensors, accelerometers and other sensors, as well as for haptic output devices. During operation, the user may wear this smart ring on the tip of the user’s finger while interacting with external objects.
The third patent, numbered 20190347846, relates to the technique of locating virtual objects relative to actual physical objects. The patent states that there are various electronic devices, such as head-on devices, whose displays provide users with an experience that can be fully immersed in the surrounding physical environment. These devices often use preloaded content to represent the CGR environment, resulting in an experience. When presented on the display of an electronic device, preloaded content provides the same experience regardless of the physical environment in which the electronic device is actually located.
The three patents may be relevant to Apple’s expected RELEASE of AR in 2022. Apple is expected to launch a separate AR-eyewear device next year.