Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,170,521) for “position estimation based on eye gaze.” It involves the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD).
About the patent
The patent involves methods for performing a task in a computer-generated reality environment. More specifically, it offers a process of determining a depth of an object in a computer-generated reality environment using an eye gaze.
Conventional electronic devices use input mechanisms, such as keyboards, buttons, joysticks, and touch-screens, to receive inputs from a user. Some conventional devices also include a screen that displays content responsive to a user’s input.
Such input mechanisms and displays provide an interface for the user to interact with an electronic device. Apple wants to kick things up a notch with eye gaze tech on Apple Glasses.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “In an exemplary process for determining a position of an object in a computer-generated reality environment using an eye gaze, a user uses their eyes to interact with user interface objects displayed on an electronic device. A first direction of gaze is determined for a first eye of a user detected via the one or more cameras, and a second direction of gaze is determined for a second eye of the user detected via the one or more cameras.
“A convergence point of the first and second directions of gaze is determined, and a distance between a position of the user and a position of an object in the computer-generated reality environment is determined based on the convergence point. A task is performed based on the determined distance between the position of the user and the position of the object in the computer-generated reality environment.”
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.”