Apple’s AR headphones or “Apple Glass” device can use a movable screen to compensate for motion blur, while Fresnel lenses could help reduce the weight of the headphones for users.
Apple has long been rumored to be working on some kind of head-mounted display, possibly in the form of a virtual reality or augmented reality headset. There is also the product known as “Apple Glass” which is believed to be AR-capable smart glasses.
In developing such hardware, Apple has tried to find possible solutions to design problems, which have regularly appeared in patent applications.
In a pair awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, Apple is seen to be working on display elements, to make the rumored device the best it can be against its competitors.
The first patent, “Compensating for motion blur by activating the screen”, addresses a motion blur problem in an unusual way.
While motion blur can generally be mitigated by reducing the persistence of a pixel on a screen, this may not be convenient as it reduces the perceived brightness of the screen itself. Ideally, the screen should keep the pixel lit long enough to make it bright for the user, and reducing the time can dim the screen.
In the patent, Apple suggests that the headphones may include sensors to detect device movement, such as head movement. Movement between frames, such as direction and speed, is determined and used as a starting point to mitigate motion blur.
That motion data is used to adjust an actuator that is docked to the screen, moving it to oppose the change in position between frames. Moving the screen counteracts the effects of general device movement and can reduce motion blur.
It is also suggested that the system could determine the movement between frames of a pixel on the screen, which in turn is used to adjust the movement of the actuator that scrolls the screen. Another implementation uses time as part of its calculation to determine where the actuator should apply a “driving force” to the screen.
The patent was originally filed on August 29, 2019, with its inventor as Tobias Eble.
The second patent, a “head-mounted display device with Fresnel lenses,” Apple offers a display system that could potentially create a lightweight headset for its users.
Generally, virtual reality headsets are based on a series of lenses that allow the user to clearly see a screen that has been placed very close to their eyes. When wearing the lenses, the screen appears to be in focus and as if it is very far away, but this can add weight to the design of the headphones.
Fresnel lenses are a type of lens that uses wedge shapes, grooves, and rings to adjust the passage of light in different areas. This is a concept similar to how a lighthouse uses Fresnel lenses to focus light towards the sea, rather than illuminating an entire area.
For the Apple patent, the lenses consist of curved convex surfaces that point towards the screen, with slanted facets and draft facets, to allow the user to see the screen. The screen itself could be flat or curved, with the lenses built to take advantage of the screen’s curvature if necessary.
To reduce light scattering, the firing facets could be coated with an opaque masking material or by lining concentric rings of a similar material on a transparent substrate near the facets.
It is plausible that pairs of Fresnel lenses could be used for such a system, with a light adjusting the screen to a specific distribution pattern. The second could collect the light that shines on it in this pattern and point it towards the user’s vision.
By using Fresnel lenses, Apple could build a system with a small number of lenses working together, reducing the amount of glass used and, in turn, reducing the weight of the headphones themselves.
Released on February 1, 2018, its inventors are listed as Victoria C. Chan, John N. Border, Jeffrey C. Olson, Yury A. Petrov, Edward S. Huo, and Brandon Clarke.
Apple files numerous patent applications weekly, but while the existence of a patent indicates areas of interest to the company, it does not guarantee that the ideas will appear in a future product or service.
The idea of using Fresnel lenses was raised by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in March, stating that the headphones would use a “hybrid Fresnel lens” to enhance vignetting and optical artifacts, and each hybrid is said to be comprised of three Fresnel lenses. stacked. . This could result in a headset weighing just 150 grams, less than half the weight of existing virtual reality headsets.
Other patents that have emerged on the device include a True Tone-style ambient light blending feature, and areas of an AR screen to be rendered opaque so that AR images are better viewed.
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