Apple patent filing is for touch screen and head-mounted displays

Apple has filed for another patent (number 10,412,334) for a “system with touch screen displays and head-mounted displays.” 

It gives further weight to the predictions that the tech giant will introduce “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality headset in 2020 or 2021. It also shows that Apple wants such a device to work well with its iOS, iPadOS, and macOS products.

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The patent filing involves a system in which input is gathered from a user with input-output devices. The input-output devices may include physical keyboards, touch screen displays, data gloves, and other input-output devices. 

Control circuitry in the system may use a head-mounted display, a display on a keyboard, and a display in a tablet computer or other electronic device to display images. Virtual reality content may be presented to a user with the head-mounted display. The virtual reality content may include virtual documents with virtual text, virtual keyboards with virtual keys, and other virtual objects. 

A virtual keyboard may be overlaid on top of a physical keyboard or on top of a keyboard display or touch screen display in a tablet computer or other electronic device. Virtual key labels may be updated in response to user key press input and other input.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that computers with displays can present simulated environments to users. Head-mounted displays are available that enhance the immersive nature of simulated environments. A user with a head-mounted display may be presented with virtual reality worlds. A user may manipulate virtual objects in the virtual worlds by supplying input through data gloves or other input devices. 

Apple says that, although a wide variety of virtual input devices can be constructed for a user in a simulated environment, tasks such as supplying text input can be cumbersome in simulated environments. For example, a user in a simulated environment may not be provided with physical feedback of the type that naturally arises when interacting with a physical keyboard. Apple wants to change this.