Apple granted patent for head-mounted display tech

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple's application for a patent describing head-mounted display technology that is tangentially related to see-through, or augmented reality, units like Google's Project Glass.

While U.S. Patent No. 8,212,859 for "Peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays" does not directly describe a device like the head-mounted display (HMD) augmented reality glasses currently under development by Google, the filing mentions that the technology can be used in similar see-through solutions.

The '859 patent, which was first applied for in 2006, presents various solutions regarding peripheral light transmission in an attempt to address the usability issues associated with HMDs, which have yet to take root in the consumer market. Apple's patent tries to solve problems related to eye strain caused by the display's relative distance from the eye with "peripheral treatment" of a user's field of view. In the technology the colors of the primary source image are dynamically matched by either LED, OLED or lasers and converged stereoscopically to reduce the "tunnel effect" seen in normal HMDs.

From the abstract:

Methods and apparatus, including computer program products, implementing and using techniques for projecting a source image in a head-mounted display apparatus for a user. A first display projects an image viewable by a first eye of the user. A first peripheral light element is positioned to emit light of one or more colors in close proximity to the periphery of the first display. A receives data representing a source image, processes the data representing the source image to generate a first image for the first display and to generate a first set of peripheral conditioning signals for the first peripheral light element, directs the first image to the first display, and directs the first set of peripheral conditioning signals to the first peripheral light element. As a result, an enhanced viewing experience is created for the user.
Besides the peripheral treatment, and more substantial to HMD implementation, are the source and secondary image solutions that can be used in a variety of devices such as augmented reality glasses. The patent background cites AR directly, saying that "some HMDs can be used to view a see-through image imposed upon a real world view, thereby creating what is typically referred to as an augmented reality."

It is noted in that the peripheral treatment can be used in so-called diffractive optical arrangements like light-guided optical elements (LOE) or binocular light-guided optical elements (BLOE), both of which use thin transparent substrates to display source images. A similar method is being used in Google X lab's Project Glass, an internet-connected headset that displays information through digital images and video on a small transparent display in front of a user's right eye. At the Google I/O conference it was revealed that developer copies of the AR hardware will ship in 2013 with an expected consumer release to follow in 2014.

HMD
Illustration of possible "peripheral treatment" implementations. | Source: USPTO


It is unlikely that Apple will be using the peripheral treatment patent anytime soon it at all but the filing serves as an interesting behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Cupertino-based company's research and development efforts.

The '859 patent is credited to John Tang and former senior vice president of Apple's iPod division Tony Fadell, known by insiders as the "grandfather of the iPod." Apple currently sells the Nest Learning Thermostat, the first product to come out of the new company Fadell founded after leaving the iPad maker, through its online store after having reportedly removed the device from brick-and-mortar locations.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    APPLE MUST BE COPYING GOOGLE GLASSES. SEE, APPLE COPIES EVERYTHING. WHY NOT TRY INNOVATING INSTEAD OF LITIGATING, APPLE?!
  • Reply 2 of 55
    APPLE MUST BE COPYING GOOGLE GLASSES. SEE, APPLE COPIES EVERYTHING. WHY NOT TRY INNOVATING INSTEAD OF LITIGATING, APPLE?!

    Haha that was great :-)

    Silly googleites
  • Reply 3 of 55
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member


    I wonder what Google is thinking about this right about now. Would only using one HUD over an eye good enough to skirt this patent? 


     


    Ouch! 

  • Reply 4 of 55
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member


    Applied for more than six years ago!


     


    Wouldn't it be hilarious if Apple got an injunction against the Google Glasses? 

  • Reply 5 of 55
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    aplnub wrote: »
    I wonder what Google is thinking about this right about now. Would only using one HUD over an eye good enough to skirt this patent? 

    … Why did the phrase "Google Panties" just come into my head…
  • Reply 6 of 55
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post



    APPLE MUST BE COPYING GOOGLE GLASSES. SEE, APPLE COPIES EVERYTHING. WHY NOT TRY INNOVATING INSTEAD OF LITIGATING, APPLE?!


     


    Only if Apple include Notification Center in their glasses...


    Graphical Emoticons.jpg

  • Reply 7 of 55


    Watch Apple and Google go "head to head" over this. (pun intentional)

  • Reply 8 of 55
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,301member


    Some of the patents for the Google Glasses project were applied for back in 2005 and granted in 2010. No doubt Apple was aware of the project early on since Mr. Jobs was very welcome at Google.


     


    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&S1=07675683&OS=PN/07675683&RS=P


     


    Several more have been granted over the past two years. I think the project may be safe, but who knows for certain until Apple sues over it.


    http://9to5google.com/2012/05/22/google-glasses-granted-host-of-new-patents-competition-quickly-gaining-speed/

  • Reply 9 of 55
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    No doubt Apple was aware of the project early on since Mr. Jobs was very welcome at Google.

    This sentence in context makes me want to punch a baby.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    ua2006ua2006 Posts: 84member


    These will be called 'iGlasses'. 

  • Reply 11 of 55
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,301member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    This sentence in context makes me want to punch a baby.


    Goose and gander. . . ;)

  • Reply 12 of 55
    mac.worldmac.world Posts: 340member
    Surprised Apple hasn't applied for a patent on a swivel chair that has '4 legs and a place to sit, with a resting back that pivots and or rotates." then sues Thomas Jefferson's descendents since the patent office has clearly stated Apple invented this chair.

    I wonder if Apple has put patents in the system for a 4 wheeled, gas driven apparatus that has doors, windows and a roof, so they can sue every car company in the world, because clearly Apple invented the car? Apparently, no patent is too broad for Apple.
  • Reply 13 of 55
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post



    Surprised Apple hasn't applied for a patent on a swivel chair that has '4 legs and a place to sit, with a resting back that pivots and or rotates." then sues Thomas Jefferson's descendents since the patent office has clearly stated Apple invented this chair.

    I wonder if Apple has put patents in the system for a 4 wheeled, gas driven apparatus that has doors, windows and a roof, so they can sue every car company in the world, because clearly Apple invented the car? Apparently, no patent is too broad for Apple.


    Maybe that's what miniature minds believe, but I'm surprised that Apple doesn't actually sue more companies, considering the amount of cheap ripoffs, and nearly identical looking, inferior products on the market.

  • Reply 14 of 55
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Watch Apple and Google go "head to head" over this. (pun intentional)

    All legal retribution should be eye-for-an-eye.
  • Reply 15 of 55
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Maybe that's what miniature minds believe, but I'm surprised that Apple doesn't actually sue more companies, considering the amount of cheap ripoffs, and nearly identical looking, inferior products on the market.Y



    You should consider that design patents may be beyond your own comprehension. Understanding them would  take much more time  than simply reading the articles posted on here. I'm a little curious what products agitate you though. Out of the ones that do, have you picked up any of them? The single angle side by side internet jpegs are a big point of irritation for me as they represent malleable data. You can make such imagery fit your agenda rather than attempt to understand it. If they're going for a case based on trade dress, they would consult a legal team that is experienced in such matters. It's important to know how the validity of a given design patent will be tested and how the infringement will be tested. What constitutes infringing similarity or dissimilarity? As we've seen before, it's easy to present something that looks similar from a single photo on the internet, whether or not it represents valid prior art.

  • Reply 16 of 55
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    mac.world wrote: »
    Surprised Apple hasn't applied for a patent on a swivel chair that has '4 legs and a place to sit, with a resting back that pivots and or rotates." then sues Thomas Jefferson's descendents since the patent office has clearly stated Apple invented this chair.
    I wonder if Apple has put patents in the system for a 4 wheeled, gas driven apparatus that has doors, windows and a roof, so they can sue every car company in the world, because clearly Apple invented the car? Apparently, no patent is too broad for Apple.

    Why would Apple apply for patents for things that already exist?

    You'll find that the patents Apple apply for are novel at the time of filing, are very specific if you get past the title and are so good that they become obvious after Apple implements them.

    Why don't you take your idiotic office chair and car examples and troll somewhere else?
  • Reply 17 of 55
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


     I'm a little curious what products agitate you though. 



     


    There are way too many examples to give, surely most people have seen a bunch of the nearly identical looking ripoff products already, but I'll just post one of the recent ones that I saw. 


     


    This has nothing to do with rectangles, Apple patenting a square or any of the other stupid jokes that certain misinformed people and demented Fandroids like to make. It has to do with the talentless people who made this ripoff. Their intention was clearly to deliberately rip off the Macbook Air's design when they were making this design. 


     


    kirfdsc04235.jpg

  • Reply 18 of 55
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    @ Apple ][

    That me a long time to realize that is not a MBA. Who makes that? Samsung?
  • Reply 19 of 55
    vadaniavadania Posts: 425member
    This sentence in context makes me want to punch a baby.

    That's a pretty bad issue you've got yourself there. I actually spent five or so minutes thinking of where in a conversation this would fit in without the speaking person looking like a complete a$$hole. I was unsuccessful...
  • Reply 20 of 55
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member


    Here's an HP laptop from a few years ago: (edit - this is actually a Macbook Pro)


    015macbookpro2009unboxi.jpg


     


    Only a retard would think that this laptop has any similarity at all to any of Apple's devices. It is purely a coincidence that the average person on the street would have an extremely hard time telling the two apart. When HP made this, they were definitely not trying to rip off Apple's design. Only a fool would come to that conclusion. This is just how laptops look, and HP would have come up with this exact design completely on their own, even if Apple didn't exist. Does Apple think that they can patent a rectangle? Apple has some fucking nerve. I'm never going to buy another Apple product again. And believe me, I'm not a Fandroid or a troll, my family owns 17 Macs, 4 iPhones, 3 iPads and 1 iPod Touch, but this is the final straw. Apple is anti-competition and I like choice, even if all of the choices out there look exactly like Apple's fucking designs.

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