New patent shows Apple is working to stop Apple Glass users walking into nearby objects or traffic

Apple’s new patent published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office shows that the tech giant is working on stopping Apple Glasses users from walking into traffic or nearby objects. The patent involves methods, devices, and systems for selectively transitioning between levels of simulated reality immersion presented by an electronic device.

The Cupertino tech giant filed the patent under “Techniques for Switching Between Immersion Levels.” Apple Glass will give the user an amazing experience of augmented or virtual reality creations, but the user is still standing, sitting, or walking in the real world surrounded by various objects. Therefore, it is imperative for the company to offer a feature for users to stay aware of their surroundings and be safe when wearing AR glasses.

For example, the user may be fully immersed in VR corresponding to a pre-historic world populated with dinosaurs. While that virtual pre-historic world may be deficient in living room furniture, the living room in which the user is located continues to include a coffee table. Moreover, even thought the user’s dog may be absent from that virtual pre-historic world, the dog may continue to roam about the living room.

Apple AR - Apple Glass

Apple is working on technology to stop Apple Glass users from walking into traffic or nearby objects

The patent was filed on 18 March 2021, which explains the mechanism of preventing users from running into objects or walking into traffic.

In one implementation, a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium stores program instructions computer-executable on a computer to perform operations. The operations include presenting first content representing a virtual reality setting on a display of an electronic device. Using an input device of the electronic device, input is received representing a request to present a view corresponding to a physical setting in which the electronic device is located. In accordance with receiving the input, the first content is simultaneously presented on the display with second content representing the view corresponding to the physical setting obtained using an image sensor of the electronic device.

Prior to this patent, Apple’s solution was brought down to the user taking off their headset whenever they suspect they are about to hit something or “about to trend on their dog.” Apple believed that as the AR//VR experiences become more immersive, the user might not be able to predict or sense such interactions fast enough to avoid them.

Apple Glass patent

Apple’s latest solution to this problem involves a picture-in-picture effect. The solution is that if the Apple Glass wearer is taking a walk, the glasses will show a live view of the real-world surroundings. The patent application describes when and how the feature would be triggered.

Abruptly removing the electronic device during an experience detracts from that experience. As such, it is desirable to address the concerns related to these undesirable interactions while also minimizing any negative impacts on the experience.

Another patent was filed earlier this year which would allow Apple Glass to automatically unlock other Apple products/devices. A report that came earlier this month suggests that Apple AR/VR headset could launch by 2022, and AR Glasses would follow in 2025.

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About the Author

Usman has been playing games for as long as he can remember. He is an editor at iThinkDifferent and writes about games, Apple news, hardware, productivity guides, and more. When not writing for iTD, Usman loves to play competitive Team Fortress 2, spends time honing his football skills, and watches superhero movies.

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