Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,163,157) for a “light field head-up display” for a vehicle.

About the patent

In the patent, Apple notes that vehicles such as automobiles are sometimes provided with head-up displays. Head-up displays project images onto the windshield of a vehicle. A driver of the vehicle can view the projected images while driving. 

Head-up displays are typically used to display vehicle status information such as speedometer information. Head-up displays allow information to be safely displayed for a driver without requiring the driver to look away from the road ahead. 

Apple says that to maximize the usefulness of head-up displays in vehicular environments, “it would be desirable to be able to enhance the ability of a head-up display to display information for the occupants of a vehicle.”

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A vehicle may have a light-field head-up display that produces a light-field output allowing a viewer in the vehicle to observe three-dimensional content. An array of light-field display units and corresponding lenses may be used to direct the light-field output towards the viewer. The head-up display may have a transmissive display such as a liquid crystal display or other display with an array of backlit pixels. 

“The pixels may have subpixels of different colors and may have elongated shapes extending along a given dimension. Lenticular lenses in the transmissive display that overlap the pixels may extend along the given dimension. A directional backlight may be used to adjust the direction of the light-field output produced by a light-field display unit. The directional backlight may be adjusted to alternately provide light-field output to the left and right eyes of a viewer.”

When might we see an Apple Car?

The status of an Apple auto is unclear. On June 2, Bloomberg reported that Apple has lost “several” top managers from its “Apple Car” project. Here’s what the report says: Apple Inc. has lost multiple top managers of its self-driving car team in recent months, a sign of attrition at the division involved in what could become an important future product.

If an Apple Car ever arrives, it probably won’t arrive until 2024 at the earliest. In fact, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t expect it until at least 2025.The accompanying graphic illustrates a vehicle comprising a transparent surface which provides an augmented reality display that modifies occupant-perceived information presented by a sign located in the external environment.

FIG. 3 is a side view of an illustrative head-up display in a vehicle in accordance with the patent.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today