Apple has filed for a patent (number 20210303851) for a “optical systems with authentication and privacy capabilities.” It involves the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality heads-mounted display (HMD).
About the patent filing
Electronic devices may include displays that present images close to a user’s eyes. For example, devices such as virtual reality and augmented reality headsets may include displays with optical elements that allow users to view the displays.
Apple says it can be challenging to design devices such as these. If care is not taken, the components used in displaying content may be unsightly and bulky and may not exhibit desired levels of optical performance. In addition, devices such as augmented reality headsets can present device authentication and privacy challenges for users.
Apple doesn’t want its Apple Glasses to suffer from such shortcomings.
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “A head-mounted electronic device may include a display with an optical combiner. The combiner may include a waveguide with first and second output couplers. The first output coupler may couple a first portion of image light at visible wavelengths out of the waveguide and towards an eye box.
“The second output coupler may couple a second portion of the image light at near-infrared wavelengths out of the waveguide and towards the surrounding environment. The second portion of the image light may include an authentication code that is used by a secondary device to authenticate the head-mounted device and/or may include a pattern that serves to prevent camera equipment in the surrounding environment from capturing accurate facial recognition information from a user while wearing the head-mounted device.”
About Apple Glasses
When it comes to Apple Glasses, such a device will arrive in 2022 or 2023, depending on which rumor you believe. 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.”
FIG. 8 is a flow chart of illustrative steps that may be performed by a head-mounted device to prevent an external camera from capturing accurate facial recognition information in accordance with some embodiments.
Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today