Apple Granted Patent for Head-Mounted Display

“Originally filed back in 2006, the patent, titled ‘Peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays’ describes how images could be projected to generate a peripheral display that would create “an enhanced viewing experience” for the user.”

According to the patent description the device has a number of possibilities of how it would project this display, compared to Googles asymmetric design, Apple would have two screens embedded in a wearable headset like a helmet, pair of glasses or visor.

Apple's patent display

Apple’s patent display

With Google Glass becoming such a controversial product through it’s own aesthetic which appears mild in relation to Apples suggested product, people may be more entitled to purchase Glass rather than the iOS version. Nonetheless, the eventual design, much like the original Glass may look very different to the patent exampled here.

“The HMD could also be used for augmented reality, transmitting a transparent image superimposed on the world in front of you using reflective mirrors.”

This is similar to what Google intend to do, however by offering two screens the image can be projected to a larger scale, enveloping the user into the device more. This could be both a negative but also a positive. In reference to the gaming industry they wish to bring the player further into the surreal experience on being within the game. An augmented reality aims to do just that, although it can appear dangerous if the person is so engrossed into the game they may not see an oncoming accident etc. Furthermore, if augmented reality is provided for other functions other than gaming this may become a larger distraction within the real world by again distracting people but in a more potentially dangerous surroundings. Nonetheless, I am sure Apple would acknowledge this potential threat and find a way to manage any oncoming or potential threats and to notify the wearer.

Apple wish to use the possibility of transmitting a transparent image around the wearer within industries such as surgeries where the CAT scans and patients information could be displayed in-front of them and also within military and police fields, where tactical information could be streamed through. Even though this is how Google plan to implant Glass; I believe this could lead to a number of difficulties. Such as the surgeon could be distracted by something they read and lose concentration whilst working on the patient or the police officer/militant could be put under threat because they were acknowledging what Glass was telling them to do rather than going into action. Clearly, sanctions and guidelines of when it is useful to use Glass will have to be ordered by each industry.

“The patent description also mentions that video and image information could be received from a portable external source, like an iPhone, which could divide the images into one frame for each eye.”

Although both Google Glass and Apple’s patent share similarities, by offering two screens Apple is delving into more potential opportunities, for example, having different viewings for the two screens. However it would be suitable to think that Google would of measured these possibilities throughout their research and studies and the fact they opted for one screen may indicate the complications made by two. Or it may simply be an obstacle which Apple have to overcome during their research to ensure that their product is viewed superior to Glass’ to entice over the existing potential consumers interested in peripheral vision computing but haven’t purchased Googles product.

Offering a screen for each eye with different information may become a nuissance for the wearer to pay attention to both screens as well as the outside. The reasoning behind Glass is to help the public with everyday tasks that they need their hands for but also want the opportunity to be kept up to date with text and information. If they then have to concentrate on two different screens they may once again may be drawn into the technological world and follow the same routine they played with mobile phones, tablets and laptops. However, it may also offer them two different but necessary functions such as recording a video but also have a screen of information available helping them market a USP of the product.

“Google’s patent is very specific to Google Glass — it’s for a wearable display with an integrated finger-tracking input sensor. Apple’s on the other hand, seems pretty broad, covering a variety of head mounted display technology implementations.”

Applying for such a broad spectrum of ideas on the Patent would insinuate that Apple don’t necessarily know how they will create their wearable technology device yet; whilst Google’s was specific to what they offer now, promoting the ideal that they have been researching and developing for years ensuring they know exactly what to do. Even though they both have patented products, Google have already released prototypes to Google explorers, meaning that they will be the first on the market offering the much anticipated and controversial product. Being the first to offer the general public a new generation of technology will help them start and maintain the role as industry leader because people become accustom to their design and systems. Once people get used to new products, it is difficult to change their preferences unless Apple offer a device that is far superior to Glass.

Even though Apple haven’t yet released any prototypes or information insinuating that they will to release a product similar to Google Glass, the fact they have a patent for such a product suggests they may intend to make it in the future. Therefore, RoseTinted would have to be available for both Android and iOS optical head-mounted computers. Although I would offer Google to buy loyalty from the app for 3-5 years so that the technology continuously released by Google for Glass would be readily available for my app.


One thought on “Apple Granted Patent for Head-Mounted Display

  1. Pingback: What Smartphone Works Best With Glass? | RoseTinted

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