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Apple patent filing points to Google Glass-like heads-up display tech

post #1 of 35
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A patent application Apple filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday points to the company's continued interest in creating high-resolution display technology suitable for near-eye applications like those seen in Google's Project Glass.

The patent filing, titled "Display resolution increase with mechanical actuation," describes a mechanism that can bump the perceived resolution of a digital display without actually increasing the number or density of pixels, a method Apple calls "pixel multiplication."

Thursday's application comes on the heels of Apple's granted U.S. Patent No. 8,212,859 for technology related to head-mounted displays (HMDs) first reported by AppleInsider earlier in July.

As noted by The Next Web, Apple specifically mentions the use of its invention in a "portable heads-up display," a device Google has already prototyped in Project Glass.

While the idea of a wearable HUD is intriguing, existing technologies don't necessarily provide for a user experience consumers have come to expect from portable electronics. Perhaps most noticeable is the quality of a device's screen such as the high-resolution Retina displays used in Apple's iPhone, iPad and now MacBook Pro product lines. Despite its already high pixel density, even a Retina display would look unacceptable at extremely close viewing distances and Thursday's patent filing aims to solve this problem.

Patent Filing
Illustration from Apple's patent filing. | Source: USPTO


In the filing's background, Apple notes manufacturing costs and energy concerns are the two main hurdles in building a high-resolution portable display:

These factors may take greater consideration in portable displays devices where batteries provide the power and space/weight may be limited. In particular, a portable heads-up display may be size and weight constrained such that addition of physical pixels may not be practical. Conventionally, fewer physical pixels may mean lower cost to manufacture, lower weight, smaller
size, but also lower resolution.

Apple proposes a mechanism that can shift a specially-synchronized digital display assembly fast enough to create a higher perceived resolution without upping the number of physical pixels.

The filing explains:

In particular, an actuator is implemented to shift physical pixels between multiple positions within a prescribed time period so that a single physical pixel appears to a viewer as multiple pixels. Hence, the pixel density is effectively multiplied by the number of positions to which the physical pixels may be displayed.


Supporting claims include methods for storing and displaying image data, feeding said data to corresponding pixels at the correct time during actuation and using lens and mirror configurations to achieve optimal output.

Display Actuation
Display actuation and data synchronization results in pixel multiplication. | Source: USPTO


Apple offers two separate methods by which pixel multiplication can be achieved. The first solution, described above, actuates the display itself while a second method involves adding an array of optics between the display and the user's eye. This lens and mirror assembly can be shifted in synchronization with physical pixel output to "give the appearance of multiple pixels per physical pixel."

Lens Array
Shifting of a lens array can alternately be used for pixel multiplication.
Source: USPTO


The filing notes the cost of actuators and circuitry should "generally be much less than the cost of physically representing the pixels independently, especially when the single physical pixel is scaled to represent four or more pixels."

It is unlikely that the technology will be used in a commercial application any time soon if at all, however the filing signals Apple's intent to remain a tech industry innovator.
post #2 of 35

Apple asked the director of the late Disney´s Tron Legacy, Joseph Kosinski to direct iSPEC for Apple • http://www.josephkosinski.com/projects/movs/ispec.html long before Google´s Project Glass. It even preceded iPod Touch

post #3 of 35

I like the idea of the Google glasses. Maybe too geeky to be a real product but I would try them out.

post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

Apple asked the director of the late Disney´s Tron Legacy, Joseph Kosinski to direct iSPEC for Apple • 
http://www.josephkosinski.com/projects/movs/ispec.html long before Google´s Project Glass. 
It even preceded iPod Touch

Great link, thank you. That will be worth repeating every time an anti Apple post shows up claiming Apple are copying Google's concept. Caprica is coming!
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post #5 of 35

I don't see Apple making a wearable computer. Too geeky.

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post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Great link, thank you. That will be worth repeating every time an anti Apple post shows up claiming Apple are copying Google's concept. Caprica is coming!

 

No, it will be funny enough to listen to all the Apple devotees praise this version after having ridiculed Google's version. It doesn't matter who started working on it first. And I'm fairly certain the concept of glasses-based HUD displays was a part of mainstream science fiction before the genesis of either company's current projects so it's hardly an original idea regardless.

post #7 of 35

"It is unlikely that the technology will be used in a commercial application any time soon if at all, however the filing signals Apple's intent to remain a tech industry innovator."

 

You mean Apple knows how to use a pencil and paper to draw a picture? Just like some of the ideas that Google has put forth to the patent office for wearable glasses these are a joke. But they will get granted because patent office is desperate for money. 

post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

 

No, it will be funny enough to listen to all the Apple devotees praise this version after having ridiculed Google's version. It doesn't matter who started working on it first. And I'm fairly certain the concept of glasses-based HUD displays was a part of mainstream science fiction before the genesis of either company's current projects so it's hardly an original idea regardless.

 

When has a "Google's version" of anything been more usable than Apple's tech?

post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

When has a "Google's version" of anything been more usable than Apple's tech?

what do you define as usable? 

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

Apple asked the director of the late Disney´s Tron Legacy, Joseph Kosinski to direct iSPEC for Apple • http://www.josephkosinski.com/projects/movs/ispec.html long before Google´s Project Glass. It even preceded iPod Touch

 

Well that's kinda like saying Android existed since 2005, way before the first iphone. 

 

Its a fact, its true, but people will call copycat anyway. 

 

Fact of life.

 

But I don't pay much mind cause in the end we here all know Apple invented everything. Can't believe nobody thought of rectangle with rounded edges with a touch screen dominating the front before apple. Genius. i Challenge ANYONE on this forum to show me an image of a device that is rectangular with rounded edges and a screen on the front that came out BEFORE the ipad.

 

No Challengers.....didn't think so. 

post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

When has a "Google's version" of anything been more usable than Apple's tech?

Maps. Gmail. Search.

 

Probably about it.

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post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Great link, thank you. That will be worth repeating every time an anti Apple post shows up claiming Apple are copying Google's concept. Caprica is coming!

It doesn't help when sites erroneously say it was filed this week (which other sites just copy without double checking). Filing date was January 2011 if you look at the actual USPTO document

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

Apple asked the director of the late Disney´s Tron Legacy, Joseph Kosinski to direct iSPEC for Apple • http://www.josephkosinski.com/projects/movs/ispec.html long before Google´s Project Glass. It even preceded iPod Touch

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Great link, thank you. That will be worth repeating every time an anti Apple post shows up claiming Apple are copying Google's concept. Caprica is coming!

 

You do realize that this iSpec commercial has nothing to do with Apple in any official sense, right?

post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

No, it will be funny enough to listen to all the Apple devotees praise this version after having ridiculed Google's version. It doesn't matter who started working on it first. And I'm fairly certain the concept of glasses-based HUD displays was a part of mainstream science fiction before the genesis of either company's current projects so it's hardly an original idea regardless.

To be fair we don't know too much about any product Apple might bring out yet if at all. However, past history would support the notion that Apple might make a good product if they set the mind to it. Google not so much.
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post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

No, it will be funny enough to listen to all the Apple devotees praise this version after having ridiculed Google's version.

People aren't ridiculing it because of Google copying movies etc, or out of Apple devotion. They are ridiculing the whole Google Glass because they think the implementation is poor. Ugly glasses, etc

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post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post


You do realize that this iSpec commercial has nothing to do with Apple in any official sense, right?

Other than Apple paid for it, so I'd guess that makes it kind of connected to Apple. Remember the Apple video Knowledge Navigator? Similar thing really, putting a concept out there. The Google team were probably huge Apple fans as kids and saw all this stuff and gained great ideas. Nothing wrong with that. My point was that anti Apple folk with no knowledge of this will start saying Apple only got the idea from Google and that clearly isn't the case.
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post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Other than Apple paid for it, so I'd guess that makes it kind of connected to Apple. Remember the Apple video Knowledge Navigator? Similar thing really, putting a concept out there. The Google team were probably huge Apple fans as kids and saw all this stuff and gained great ideas. Nothing wrong with that. My point was that anti Apple folk with no knowledge of this will start saying Apple only got the idea from Google and that clearly isn't the case.

 

Where do you see that Apple paid for it or had any influence on the project in any way?  Everything I see says it was simply a short film for Kosinski's résumé.

 

http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/news/2004/06/63903?currentPage=all

 

http://talent.adweek.com/gallery/Apple-iSPEC/1559963

 

http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/873/the-art-and-science-of-joseph-kosinski

post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

"It is unlikely that the technology will be used in a commercial application any time soon if at all, however the filing signals Apple's intent to remain a tech industry innovator."


You mean Apple knows how to use a pencil and paper to draw a picture? Just like some of the ideas that Google has put forth to the patent office for wearable glasses these are a joke. But they will get granted because patent office is desperate for money. 

How is this a joke? It is a patent on an implementation of a novel electro-mechanical system.

You are just anti-patent. We get it.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

 

No, it will be funny enough to listen to all the Apple devotees praise this version after having ridiculed Google's version. It doesn't matter who started working on it first. And I'm fairly certain the concept of glasses-based HUD displays was a part of mainstream science fiction before the genesis of either company's current projects so it's hardly an original idea regardless.

 

Please, please.

Stop that nonsense.

There are people working at google now that knew of that Video.

 

It does mater.

You could say you are fairly certain the concept of computing was a part of mainstream science fiction long before the first computer was made.

Or new electric cars sports no NEW/Original technology

  

And yes, it is original to have the balls thinking in implementing it.


Edited by Ochyming - 7/27/12 at 7:25am
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

 

Where do you see that Apple paid for it or had any influence on the project in any way?  Everything I see says it was simply a short film for Kosinski's résumé.

 

http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/news/2004/06/63903?currentPage=all

 

http://talent.adweek.com/gallery/Apple-iSPEC/1559963

 

http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/873/the-art-and-science-of-joseph-kosinski

 

Looks like you are right.

At the time Apple stopped making that kind of propaganda.

Regardless you cannot write about what Apple is doing, just because it is secretive about what it is doing.

post #21 of 35

Android DID exist before the iPhone debuted, but not as a touchscreen device. It was being developed to be a RIM competitor. iPhone showed on the screen and changed the game and Android played catchup. But we also know that iPhone was in development well before it released, probably since 2002-2003. They just took their time and patented it unlike their competitors.

post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

I don't see Apple making a wearable computer. Too geeky.


Ever?  With the pace of change of technology, I wouldn't bet against wearable computers being as commonplace 10 years from now as smart phones are today.  And even that is probably laughably conservative.

 

Today, we say "remember how 20 years ago you'd never go out of town without buying a map and planning your route and doing research, and now with smartphones and GPSs we think nothing of going anywhere in the world with the confidence that we cannot get lost."

 

X years from now, we'll say "remember when x years ago you'd be in a meeting or talk to someone in the elevator and not remember their name or how you know them, and now everyone's name is next to their picture--I mean face all the time."

 

It's coming and the interfaces will be entirely different than what we've used before (until MS leads the way somehow).

 

p.s. just to be clear, there is a HUGE difference between saying @#$% like this and inventing it.  To get to the future will require a myriad inventions, large and small.  Hopefully no one is granted a patent for "a method for identifying people" that is nothing more than "use facial recognition to superimpose a text label of their name on a HUD build into glasses."


Edited by malax - 7/27/12 at 7:51am
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

They just took their time and patented it unlike their competitors.

Really?

 

Like whom?

 

Motorola patented its tech

Microsoft also.

Nokia did the same.

Samsung also.

 

Patents are not EVIL.

It is for ˝small˝ in cash/resources to protect itself.

Imagine if China ( with its unDemocratic government, its state companies can produce things cheaper ) get all the USA and German patent for free. No one will EVER buy USA or German machinery/technology anymore. Because China will make them cheaper.

post #24 of 35

No not at all. Apple hasn't been working on wearable computing.

 

Richard Devaul Joins Apple

http://blogs.computerworld.com/15750/apple_hires_senior_prototype_engineer_for_work_on_wearable_computers

 

Richard Devaul leaves Apple, Joins Google

http://9to5google.com/2011/06/24/wearables-expert-ridard-devaul-jumps-ship-from-apple-to-google/

 

Google Poaches Simon Prakash From Apple to Work with Sergey Bin

http://venturebeat.com/2012/02/04/google-hires-a-senior-director-at-apple-for-a-top-secret-project-exclusive/

 

Sergey Brin Demos Project Glass

http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/27/sergey-brin-demos-project-glass-on-stage-at-google-i-o/

 

No connection at all to Apple! ;)

post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

I don't see Apple making a wearable computer. Too geeky.

 

Agree.  But if they do, it probably won't spam you as badly as Google Glass surely would.

 

I say "would" because, as we've seen, Apple's patents do tend to hold up in court.

No FRAND here.  Not even if Apple's near-eye device become wildly popular, a de facto "industry standard."

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post #26 of 35

Shifting of a lens array over a display could be used to create a high res lenticular 3D display.  They can also use this type of technolgy in cameras to capture light fields and to unblur photographs.

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post #27 of 35
Geordie was first...Everyone knows that.
post #28 of 35

And lawsuit?

 

 


Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

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Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

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post #29 of 35
I have read that the pilots of Blackhawk helicopters need a year of training to use these sorts of displays. It seems that as you brain is switching between the near focused display and back to your regular field of view, that it induces nasty headaches that requires lots of practice to be able to use comfortably.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by z3r0 View Post

No not at all. Apple hasn't been working on wearable computing.

 

Richard Devaul Joins Apple

http://blogs.computerworld.com/15750/apple_hires_senior_prototype_engineer_for_work_on_wearable_computers

 

Richard Devaul leaves Apple, Joins Google

http://9to5google.com/2011/06/24/wearables-expert-ridard-devaul-jumps-ship-from-apple-to-google/

 

Google Poaches Simon Prakash From Apple to Work with Sergey Bin

http://venturebeat.com/2012/02/04/google-hires-a-senior-director-at-apple-for-a-top-secret-project-exclusive/

 

Sergey Brin Demos Project Glass

http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/27/sergey-brin-demos-project-glass-on-stage-at-google-i-o/

 

No connection at all to Apple! ;)

 

 

And that is ALL?

Or just part of the Truth?

 

Isn´t it stupid to just gather some post and mesh them up as the truth?

post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by 801 View Post

I have read that the pilots of Blackhawk helicopters need a year of training to use these sorts of displays. It seems that as you brain is switching between the near focused display and back to your regular field of view, that it induces nasty headaches that requires lots of practice to be able to use comfortably.

 

I heard the same from a Documentary on Discovery channel or NG.

post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

When has a "Google's version" of anything been more usable than Apple's tech?

 

Gmail

Chrome Browser

Search Engine

Maps

Youtube

Google Books

 

Some would also viably argue Android is much more useable than iOS due to it's openness with music and video formats as well as customization.

 

Google Play's interface is also much simpler/faster/more useable than the current iTunes monolith of bloat.

post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

I don't see Apple making a wearable computer. Too geeky.

Come on! Too Geeky?

How can this be too Geeky?

The guy looks so cool and in control.

700

 

 

It reminds me of this: 

Even a guy this cool is developing worry wrinkles on his forehead as strains to 

focus his coolness in order to pull of wearing a bluetooth earpiece. I know I can't do it.

I wish all the dicks who use them knew their limitations as well.   ;-)

 

1000

post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Ever?  With the pace of change of technology, I wouldn't bet against wearable computers being as commonplace 10 years from now as smart phones are today.  And even that is probably laughably conservative.

I wouldn't count on it. Fifteen years ago when I entered design school "visionaries" were claiming that "within 5 years" my shirt would have more computing power than a Pentiium computer (and many other things. About the only thing they got right was predicting that cell phone would become computers. But they really had no idea of the ramifications.

 

A few things I have learned:

People tend to avoid having tech close to their bodies (except for prostheses.)

Designers get excited about concepts that bring tech close to peoples bodies (except for prostheses.)

Product evolution follows the path of usefulness for users but first and foremost, it must fit comfortably into their lives both logistically and culturally.

Professional futurists are usually morons.

Designers and Engineers are porn addicts and the porn of choice for designers is the sort of superficial low IQ concepts found in ID Magazine. For Engineers it's the sort of tech centered geekyness exemplified by the above patent drawing.

Also, people want you to remember their name and face. They do not want you to just get it from a computer. This is why form letters don't work.

post #35 of 35

For those interested in the tech behind Google's Glass Project there's an excellent two-part series posted over at SEOByTheSea.

http://www.seobythesea.com/2013/01/google-glass-hardware-patents/

 

and Part 2

http://www.seobythesea.com/2013/01/project-glass-patents/

 

Really well done with references to the patents involved and how the IP might be integrated.

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