Yet another Apple patent hints at an AR headset

Apple has been granted another patent (number 20170353713) that hints at an upcoming augmented reality (AR) head-mounted display (HMD). It involves methods and apparatus, including computer program products, implementing and using techniques for projecting a source image in a head-mounted display apparatus.

The apparatus would have a left and a right display for projecting a left and right images viewable by the left and right eyes, respectively, of a user. Source image data is received. 

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The source image has right, left, top, and bottom edges. The source image data is processed to generate left image data for the left display and right image data for the right display. 

The left image data includes the left edge, but not the right edge, of the source image and the right image data includes the right edge, but not the left edge, of the source image. The right image data is presented on the right display and the left image data is presented on the left display.

Apple says augmented reality can be combined with the stereoscopic images in various types of applications. Some examples include applications in surgery, where radiographic data, such as CAT scans or MRI imaging can be combined with the surgeon's vision. Military, police and firefighters use HMDs to display relevant tactical information, such as maps or thermal imaging data. Engineers and scientists use HMDs to provide stereoscopic views of CAD schematics, simulations or remote sensing applications. Consumer devices are also available for use in gaming and entertainment applications. 

Apple has also applied for various other patents regarding AR glasses.

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.