Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,410,391) for a “method for representing virtual information in a view of a real environment.” It involves the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/mixed reality headset.
About the patent
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology in which virtual data are overlaid with reality and which thus facilitates the association of data with reality. In the past, there were various projects implemented on mobile devices using AR. At first, there were used special optical marks for ascertaining the position and orientation of the device. As regards AR, which is usable for large areas as well and thus is also referred to as large area AR, there have also been published hints for sensible representation of objects in connection with HMDs (head-mounted displays)
Apple says that, however, the approaches published so far have the disadvantage that they don’t permit a simple integration of other users in the AR scenes. In addition most systems based on GPS and compass have the disadvantage that these devices cogently have to be provided and that there may be great inaccuracies occurring. Apple wants to overcome such limitations with its HMD.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A method for representing virtual information in a view of a real environment comprises providing a virtual object having a global position and orientation with respect to a geographic global coordinate system, with first pose data on the global position and orientation of the virtual object, in a database of a server, taking an image of a real environment by a mobile device and providing second pose data as to at which position and with which orientation with respect to the geographic global coordinate system the image was taken.
“The method further includes displaying the image on a display of the mobile device, accessing the virtual object in the database and positioning the virtual object in the image on the basis of the first and second pose data, manipulating the virtual object or adding a further virtual object, and providing the manipulated virtual object with modified first pose data or the further virtual object with third pose data in the database.”
About Apple Glasses
When it comes to Apple Glasses, the rumors are abundant. Such a device will arrive in mid-to-late 2023. Or maybe 2024. 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.”