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Apple granted patent for ‘peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays’

Apple has been granted a patent for “peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays” that hint at more features of the rumored “Apple Glasses.” It mainly explains the way such a device will provide augmented reality views.

The Apple Glasses will arrive this year, next year, 2021, or 2022, depending on which rumor you believe. It may or may not have to be tethered to an iPhone to work. Other rumors say that Apple Glasses could have a custom-build Apple chip and a dedicated operating system dubbed “rOS” for “reality operating system.

The newly granted patent relates to displaying images in a head-mounted display. A head-mounted display (HMD) is a display device that a person wears on the head in order to have video information directly displayed in front of the eyes. 

A HMD has either one or two small CRT, LCD or OLED displays with magnifying lenses and other associated optical elements. The display(s) and optics are typically embedded in a helmet, glasses, or a visor, which a user can wear. Lenses and other optical components are used to give the user the perception that the images are coming from a greater distance, to prevent eyestrain. 

In HMDs that use a single display, the image is typically projected through optics that split the image into two identical images, and redirects each image to the respective eye. With two displays, the HMD can show stereoscopic images. The stereoscopic images attempt to create depth to the images by simulating the angular difference between the images viewed by each eye when looking at an object, due to the different positions of the eyes. 

This angular difference is one of the key parameters the human brain uses in processing images to create depth perception or distance in human vision. Some HMDs can be used to view a see-through image imposed upon a real world view for “augmented reality.”  This is accomplished by reflecting the video images through partially reflective mirrors, such that the real world is seen through the mirrors’ reflective surfaces. The augmented reality can be combined with the stereoscopic images in various types of applications.

Here’s the summary of the invention: “Methods and apparatus, including computer program products, implementing and using techniques for projecting a source image in a head-mounted display apparatus for a user. A first display projects an image viewable by a first eye of the user. A first peripheral light element is positioned to emit light of one or more colors in close proximity to the periphery of the first display. 

“A receives data representing a source image, processes the data representing the source image to generate a first image for the first display and to generate a first set of peripheral conditioning signals for the first peripheral light element, directs the first image to the first display, and directs the first set of peripheral conditioning signals to the first peripheral light element. As a result, an enhanced viewing experience is created for the user.”

the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.

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