Apple invents adaptive eye-tracking 3D display, highly portable cellular hotspot

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2015
A pair of Apple patent applications published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday describe a display capable of displaying 2D and 3D images at the same time and a portable cellular hotpot with a unique cylindrical design.


Source: USPTO

Gaze tracking 3D screen

In its patent application for a Spatially interactive computing device," Apple describes an advanced display system that can output 2D images, 3D images or both at the same time, all without the need for special glasses. Additionally, the device is capable of displaying multiple image views, allowing different viewers to see different images from a single screen.

In one embodiment, the display employs one or more overlay layers to control and adjust output down to the pixel level. Overlays can incorporate and/or combine LCD matrix pixel masks, lenses and a plurality of LCD layers configurable as lenses to output specific portions of the display to a user's left and right eyes. Alternatively, layers may be manipulated to display distinct images to one or more viewers.

An image sensor tracks users' eyes to gather movement data that is subsequently fed to a processing unit. Combining this information with display and overlay orientation (detected by onboard motion sensors) allows highly specific output to be presented to a user or users.




For example, using gaze tracking technology, portions of a display and one or more LCD matrix layers can be activated or deactivated to present different images to a user's left and right eye. Other embodiments cover methods of achieving the same goal using microlenses, circular lenses, panels with controlled liquid crystal density and more.

If executed correctly, the concept would bring a completely new dimension to content consumption. Users would be able to "look around" a three-dimensional image as if they were walking around a virtual object displayed onscreen, or view 2D/3D images and movies with friends.

Apple first applied for its eye-tracking 3D panel patent in November 2013, crediting Brett C. Bilbrey, Ashley N. Saulsbury and David I. Simon as inventors.

Mobile Hotspot

Apple's invention, simply titled Hotspot device," describes an ultra-compact cellular hotspot solution that solves a few problems plaguing existing products.




In the document points out iPhone owners sometimes tether other devices to their smartphone, like MacBooks or non-cellular iPads. However, Apple recognizes that users may find it inconvenient to tote around multiple devices just to connect to the internet, especially when taking part in activities like jogging or hiking.

Conventional mobile hotspots come with a number of disadvantages, including poor battery life and physical controls prone to accidental activation. Addressing these problems, Apple proposes a small, two-piece cylindrical hotspot with no external controls. One half of the device contains functional circuitry like a logic board, antennas and SIM card reader, while the other half holds a battery pack that can be swapped out for higher capacity cells.




Instead of switches and buttons, users operate the device simply by twisting the two sections in opposite directions. Inside, electrical detents engage one another when the two halves are rotated, turning the device on and off.

Apple's portable hotspot patent application was first filed in November 2013 and credits Anthony S. Montevirgen and David G. Havskjold as its inventors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    astra4astra4 Posts: 46member
    The thing looks like a lipstick.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    'Your honour. My client maintains that removing the batteries is a non-obvious solution to the problem'

    'Really?'

    There are some cylindrical devices called flashlights that have a lockout function that prevents accidental activation by slightly unscrewing one part to break an electrical connection. Some flashlights that don't have external switches are referred to as 'twisties' and are turned on and off by twisting two parts so an electrical connection is made. One part houses the LED and electronics and the other the battery. Here again, some flashlight heads can accept different sized tails containing batteries of different sizes and capacities.

    I would be surprised if a patent was actually granted for this.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,531member
    A patent should be granted as this is not a flashlight.

    The display patent is absolutely amazing.

    Go Apple Go Go Go...
  • Reply 4 of 17
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,531member
    A patent should be granted as this is not a flashlight.

    The screen patent is absolutely amazing.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    gregquinngregquinn Posts: 77member

    My crystal ball predicts that self-adjusting autostereoscopic displays will be a huge differentiating factor in mainstream electronic devices. Good to see Apple innovating in this area. Would certainly provide a shot-in-the-arm for iPad sales.

  • Reply 6 of 17
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,714member
    Screw the batteries.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,468member
    Screw the batteries.

    Actually this would be fantastic if one of the screw on power sources was an automobile power point plug. This would give you a mobile hotspot capability that would not need a "battery". Well except of course for the big lead acid battery in the car. It would be great for people that travel a lot and for business people and sales reps.

    The big question would be how much demand would there be as most people are going the iPhone route for this functionality.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    cnocbui wrote: »
    There are some cylindrical devices called flashlights that have a lockout function that prevents accidental activation by slightly unscrewing one part to break an electrical connection. Some flashlights that don't have external switches are referred to as 'twisties' and are turned on and off by twisting two parts so an electrical connection is made. One part houses the LED and electronics and the other the battery. Here again, some flashlight heads can accept different sized tails containing batteries of different sizes and capacities.

    I would be surprised if a patent was actually granted for this.

    flashlights arent mobile hotspot devices.

    try again.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    dstoreydstorey Posts: 3member
    Surprised at them putting a patent for eye tracking 3d since the technology has existed for years there is software for that does the same thing for computers called 3DET or 3d eye tracking 3ds uses something similar and almost all glasses free TVs tend to use this method so would be surprised if the patent didn't already exist
  • Reply 10 of 17
    dstoreydstorey Posts: 3member
    Surprised at them trying to patent eye tracking 3d. The technology has been around for years the few glassless TVs that exist use eye tracking 3d. The 3ds uses something along those lines there is even software that adds this function to pcs called 3D-ET or 3d eye tracking so would be surprised if the patent or several versions of patent didn't already exist.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    dstoreydstorey Posts: 3member

    Slightly puzzled by this how can apple invent a technology that already exists in the case of eye tracking 3d.  The new 3ds uses this type technology believe there is a few glassless TVs and some software that gives this sort of function to computers called 3D-ET so would be surprised if the patent was passed.

  • Reply 12 of 17
    jakebjakeb Posts: 555member

    Kind of genius. The micro hotspot might be the future of letting the Apple Watch work without an iPhone. Only need a tiny extra thing in your pocket. But, if you bring your phone as well, it can connect to the micro hotspot too rather than needing its own sim and data plan. 

  • Reply 13 of 17
    Error in the nutgraph: "portable cellular hotpot."

    Though TBH I'd probably buy one of those. Love me some hotpot.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    cnocbui wrote: »
    'Your honour. My client maintains that removing the batteries is a non-obvious solution to the problem'

    'Really?'

    There are some cylindrical devices called flashlights that have a lockout function that prevents accidental activation by slightly unscrewing one part to break an electrical connection. Some flashlights that don't have external switches are referred to as 'twisties' and are turned on and off by twisting two parts so an electrical connection is made. One part houses the LED and electronics and the other the battery. Here again, some flashlight heads can accept different sized tails containing batteries of different sizes and capacities.

    I would be surprised if a patent was actually granted for this.

    1/. It's not a flashlight. It's a mobile hotspot.

    2/. Screw-in flashlights aren't designed to accomodate multiple battery sizes.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    peteraltpeteralt Posts: 155member
    Apple is clearly investing a lot of R&D capital on focused 3D technology development (based on the number of patents related to 3D technologies the company has filed in recent years). Throw in recent acquisitions such as PrimeSense, the spending is easily adding up to billions of dollars. A company like Apple doesn't spend billions of dollars on R&D that focused on a single area of technology without a planned product for it. Knowing that these things take time to mature, I can bet it is clear that Apple has 3D up its sleaves for incorporation into products over the next several years!
  • Reply 16 of 17
    curtis hannahcurtis hannah Posts: 1,624member
    cnocbui wrote: »
    'Your honour. My client maintains that removing the batteries is a non-obvious solution to the problem'

    'Really?'

    There are some cylindrical devices called flashlights that have a lockout function that prevents accidental activation by slightly unscrewing one part to break an electrical connection. Some flashlights that don't have external switches are referred to as 'twisties' and are turned on and off by twisting two parts so an electrical connection is made. One part houses the LED and electronics and the other the battery. Here again, some flashlight heads can accept different sized tails containing batteries of different sizes and capacities.

    I would be surprised if a patent was actually granted for this.
    Is this main point a flashlight? No. As flashlight use normal aklaline cells and this will most likely feature an lithium ion or newer battery.

    jakeb wrote: »
    Kind of genius. The micro hotspot might be the future of letting the Apple Watch work without an iPhone. Only need a tiny extra thing in your pocket. But, if you bring your phone as well, it can connect to the micro hotspot too rather than needing its own sim and data plan. 
    Good point, it may be how these upgrade packs rumored will work. You can add cellular, upgraded wifi, etc.(at limit of bandwith of what's on the apple watch) as well as faster processor, more storage, more ram(possibly). With battery only thing needing an true upgrade.
    rayz wrote: »
    1/. It's not a flashlight. It's a mobile hotspot.

    2/. Screw-in flashlights aren't designed to accomodate multiple battery sizes.
    with 2 your sorta correct. Most cases it is. But I have had one with optional AAA and AA end. As well there are a few optional between alkaline and lithium ion ends(the lithium ion also screws into an charger).
  • Reply 17 of 17
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rayz View Post





    1/. It's not a flashlight. It's a mobile hotspot.



    2/. Screw-in flashlights aren't designed to accomodate multiple battery sizes.

     

    Some flashlights certainly are designed to accommodate multiple battery sizes.

     

    Quote:

    ThisSuper Versatile CREE Q5 Flashlights Supports a Multitude of Battery Types Including, 18650, 14500, 16340, CR123A, AA, AAA. 


    http://www.amazon.com/AOR-Flashlights-Rechargeable-Flashlight-ThisSuper/dp/B00L9IHW26

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