Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,182,978 for “rendering virtual content with coherent visual properties.” It involves the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD).
About the patent
The goal of the patent is to make the combination of real world and AR/VR images as clear as possible when using the device. Some augmented reality (AR) systems capture a video stream and combine images of the video stream with virtual content.
The images of the video stream can include rain, dust, and other air-born particles and may include lens flare, scattered light, and other lens-based artifacts that appear in front of mountains, people, and other real objects in the images.
As Apple notes, virtual content added to such images will generally lack the air-born particles and lens-based artifacts and thus may appear incoherent. The virtual content may appear to float, look detached, stand out, or otherwise fail to fit with the real content.
Apple says that existing systems and techniques “do not adequately account for air-born particles and lens-based artifacts in presenting virtual content with image content in AR and other content that combines virtual content with real image content.” The company wants to overcome such issues with its Apple Glasses.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “Various implementations disclosed herein render virtual content while accounting for air-born particles or lens-based artifacts to improve coherence or to otherwise better match the appearance of real content in the images with which the virtual content is combined.”
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.”