Apple has been given a new patent for a transparent, high field of view display which looks to be aimed at the augmented reality sector.
Jobs’ Mob appeared to be delaying entry in the AR/VR market until everyone else had taken the risks and then it could enter into and claim to have invented everything.
This patent aside, it has also been buying up AR/VR technology and hiring expert staff.
The patent was filed in June 2012 and the patent extends an even older application, originally filed back in 2006.
It is basically an AR display that seems to utilise technology similar to optical waveguide, a way to bounce light from a source to a destination with minimal loss of signal. In this case, the image is projected from a source off axis, reaching the eye via a transparent material (such as a visor or plate mounted over the eyes).
Microsoft’s HoloLens uses a technique to display a virtual overlay onto the user’s view of the real world to create it’s so called “holograms”. Apple’s diagram, which really does not show the technology working is supposed to have a higher field of vision.
“A computer program product, stored on a non-transitory machine-readable medium, for projecting a source image in a head-mounted display apparatus, the head-mounted display apparatus having a display operable to project a display image viewable by a user and a peripheral light element positioned to emit light of one or more colours in close proximity to the periphery of the display, the computer program product comprising instructions operable to cause a processor to: receive data representing a source image; generate, based on the data representing the source image, a display image; generate, based at least in part on the data representing the source image, a set of peripheral conditioning signals to control the peripheral light element; display the display image on the display; and use the set of peripheral conditioning signals to control colours emitted from peripheral light element,” the patent claims.
However, patents and staff aside, Apple is a long way away from getting any product to market. Sure once it does it will be able to roll over the competition but it might find that whatever it comes up with is either too expensive or not innovative enough to meet fanboy’s expectations. The technology either requires huge investments in computer power or is just a bit disappointing all things which slots the technology away from Jobs’ Mob’s business model. Basically Apple has to make a headset for $200 and charge $600 for it to be part of Jobs’ Mob’s standard business model. This would produce a low quality VR experience. To get a quality VR going properly you need a $1000 GPU and a $700 computer. This would mean that Apple would have to pair it with its top of the range work stations and, following the normal Apple pricing would hit the shops at about $3-4000.