Apple awarded patent for augmented reality devices with transparent displays

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2014
Apple this week was awarded ownership of a patent that describes future electronics with transparent displays, allowing users to view real-world events simultaneously with on-screen generated images.




The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially awarded the patent for a "Transparent Electronic Device" to Apple on Tuesday. Identified as U.S. Patent No. 8,890,771, the invention describes a display with one or more screens that would allow real-world viewable objects to be overlaid with a visible window on an otherwise opaque display screen.

Apple's concept notes that both active and passive display screens could be utilized in the screen, allowing different viewing modes for different purposes. In one concept described by Apple, the second non-transparent display would include a transparent window that the user could move as needed via multi-touch input.

The patent also describes an electronic device with a "black mask" that would be used to hide electronic components behind the display. This would allow a user on one side of the device to see through it and view physical objects on the other side.




Apple's invention notes that transparent displays could provide an "augmented reality" interface in which users could virtually interact with real-world objects. One example included in the patent is a display screen that overlays information while viewing a museum exhibit, such as a painting.

In another example, Apple describes a tour bus with one or more transparent displays used as windows for users. These displays could present information about locations viewable from the bus as the vehicle drives by.

Apple said such futuristic displays screens may include an LCD having pixels that default to an "on" state allowing light transmission and which can be activated to render some or all of the pixels opaque. Alternatively, the company said that the screens could include an OLED display that may selectively deactivate pixels to form a window where the display screen may output information over any image generated by the display screen, over any real-world object viewable by a user through the window, or both.

AppleInsider first detailed Apple's invention when it was a patent application back in 2011. The concept was first submitted to the USPTO in January of 2010, and it credits Aleksandar Pance as its sole inventor.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    Keep patenting around anything perceived to be coming down the Google product and service pipeline, Apple. Hit 'em where it hurts.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,038member
    Keep patenting around anything perceived to be coming down the Google product and service pipeline, Apple. Hit 'em where it hurts.
    Hit who where it hurts? Any consumer who might find a use for something Apple had no intention of actually producing but patented to make it difficult for anyone else to either? ;)
  • Reply 3 of 36
    this patent is easily defeated. it essentially uses a government patent dating back to the 70's, but alters the wording to add 'consumer electronics' and a buzz word/phrase 'augmented reality'. Although the consumer electronics part could also be defeated since GM and many other car manufacturers have used HUD's and FLIR units.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Hit who where it hurts? Any consumer who might find a use for something Apple had no intention of actually producing but patented to make it difficult for anyone else to either? ;)

    Be sure to let use know how much it hurts when your hypothetical "something Apple had no intention of actually producing" happens. Then justify how Google is entitled to seize Apple's patents.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    Real beer goggles are the only augmented reality I'm interested in :)
  • Reply 6 of 36
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Hit who where it hurts? Any consumer who might find a use for something Apple had no intention of actually producing but patented to make it difficult for anyone else to either? ;)

    Difficult for Google = LOL
  • Reply 7 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,038member
    Be sure to let use know how much it hurts when your hypothetical "something Apple had no intention of actually producing" happens. Then justify how Google is entitled to seize Apple's patents.

    Well show which patent Google seized from Apple and I'll offer my opinion of it.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,038member
    Difficult for Google = LOL

    Ah, you think Google was working on a device like Apple describes in their patent app.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Be sure to let use know how much it hurts when your hypothetical "something Apple had no intention of actually producing" happens. Then justify how Google is entitled to seize Apple's patents.

    Hey now, Giggle is way more innovative than Apple. They may only release iKnockoffs but they're working on 1,000 projects behind the scenes!!
  • Reply 10 of 36
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,506member
    As long as it's binocular and stereo, they should avoid the worst aspect of Google Glass, which is a crime against nature. Glass violates bilateral symmetry, which is one of the cardinal features of our architecture, the others being ventral/dorsal and head/tail.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Difficult for Google = LOL




    Ah, you think Google was working on a device like Apple describes in their patent app.



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Apple this week was awarded ownership of a patent that describes future electronics with transparent displays, allowing users to view real-world events simultaneously with on-screen generated images.

     

    It sounds a lot like Google Glass to me.  At least that is what I thought of.

  • Reply 12 of 36
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Ah, you think Google was working on a device like Apple describes in their patent app.

    No, it's where Google MIGHT go.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    No, it's where Google MIGHT go.

     

    So Apple's patent and R&D shops have gone from innovating to simply taking out patents with the intent of blocking where Google MIGHT be going? Interesting.

  • Reply 14 of 36
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member
    malta wrote: »
    So Apple's patent and R&D shops have gone from innovating to simply taking out patents with the intent of blocking where Google MIGHT be going? Interesting.
    To be fair to Spam Sandwich, Apple has sued over patents they don't use themselves. They also don't have a history of asking for reasonable licensing fees. They're allowed to charge what they want or even choose not to license at all so there's nothing illegal with that. In the end, he may be right in his assumption that Apple is actively trying to hold back innovation. It's certainly a viable business approach as the status quo is working in Apple's favor right now.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    malta wrote: »
    So Apple's patent and R&D shops have gone from innovating to simply taking out patents with the intent of blocking where Google MIGHT be going? Interesting.

    There are a lot of assumptions in your post.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,107member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    Hit who where it hurts? Any consumer who might find a use for something Apple had no intention of actually producing but patented to make it difficult for anyone else to either? image

     

    Yeah, because there's a mountain of examples of Apple suing others over patents that are not implemented in any of their shipping product, right?

     

    Please, enlighten us on examples of Apple acting as a patent-troll in this regard. I'm waiting.  

    topper24hours
  • Reply 17 of 36
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,107member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post





    To be fair to Spam Sandwich, Apple has sued over patents they don't use themselves. They also don't have a history of asking for reasonable licensing fees. They're allowed to charge what they want or even choose not to license at all so there's nothing illegal with that. In the end, he may be right in his assumption that Apple is actively trying to hold back innovation. It's certainly a viable business approach as the status quo is working in Apple's favor right now.

     

    Bullshit. Microsoft (and others) have a ton of licensing agreements with Apple, so I don't buy your "don't ask for reasonable fees" BS. It's just that some (ie. samsung, chinese cos.) would rather just blatantly infringe and not pay any fees. 

  • Reply 18 of 36
    slurpy wrote: »
    Yeah, because there's a mountain of examples of Apple suing others over patents that are not implemented in any of their shipping product, right?

    Please, enlighten us on examples of Apple acting as a patent-troll in this regard. I'm waiting.  
    can sum it up in one word: Rockstar
  • Reply 19 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,011member
    flaneur wrote: »
    As long as it's binocular and stereo, they should avoid the worst aspect of Google Glass, which is a crime against nature. Glass violates bilateral symmetry, which is one of the cardinal features of our architecture, the others being ventral/dorsal and head/tail.

    Humans do snoop and spy though, so Google got a few things right ... ;)
  • Reply 20 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,038member
    slurpy wrote: »
    Yeah, because there's a mountain of examples of Apple suing others over patents that are not implemented in any of their shipping product, right?

    Please, enlighten us on examples of Apple acting as a patent-troll in this regard. I'm waiting.  
    Suing ?? Don't think that was part of the discussion was it? As for Apple having any history of suing over patent claims they themselves don't practice yes they have. But that doesn't matter in the context of my comments.
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