Apple has been granted a patent (number 11.163,417) for “systems, methods, and graphical user interfaces for interacting with augmented and virtual reality environments.” It involves the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality head-mounted display.
About the patent
In the patent, Apple says the development of computer systems for virtual/augmented reality has increased significantly in recent years. Example virtual/augmented reality environments include at least some virtual elements that replace or augment the physical world. Input devices, such as touch-sensitive surfaces, for computer systems and other electronic computing devices are used to interact with virtual/augmented reality environments.
Apple says that, however, methods and interfaces for interacting with environments that include at least some virtual elements (e.g., augmented reality environments, mixed reality environments, and virtual reality environments) “are cumbersome, inefficient, and limited.” In addition, interactive methods “take longer than necessary, thereby wasting energy.” Apple wants to overcome such limitations with “Apple Glasses.”
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A computer system concurrently displays, in an augmented reality environment, a representation of at least a portion of a field of view of one or more cameras that includes a respective physical object, which is updated as contents of the field of view change; and a respective virtual user interface object, at a respective location in the virtual user interface determined based on the location of the respective physical object in the field of view.
“While detecting an input at a location that corresponds to the displayed respective virtual user interface object, in response to detecting movement of the input relative to the respective physical object in the field of view of the one or more cameras, the system adjusts an appearance of the respective virtual user interface object in accordance with a magnitude of movement of the input relative to the respective physical object.”
About Apple Glasses
When it comes to Apple Glasses, such a device will arrive in 2022 or 2023, depending on which rumor you believe. It will be a head-mounted display. Or may have a design like “normal” glasses. Or it may be eventually be available in both. The Apple Glasses 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.”