Apple files for a patent describing the use of a “point cloud” for real-time applications such as AR / VR, sports broadcasting, vehicles and more

Apple brought its high-end LiDAR scanner to the iPhone 12 Pro in 2020 which Apple claimed would produce a more realistic augmented reality. Apple added that “LiDAR allows you to place virtual objects instantly and accurately for ultra-realistic reality experiences; it uses light to measure the distance of physical objects and create an accurate depth map of your space in nanoseconds; and offers a autofocus up to 6 times faster on bass turns on and activates night mode portraits on the wide camera. “Apple ‘s use of LiDAR has just begun. Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued an Apple patent application related to its work on LiDAR in the context of “Point Cloud Compression.”

According to Apple, in some embodiments point cloud compression can be used several other applications, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, creation of geographic information systems for maps, sports broadcasts, museum exhibitions, autonomous navigation for Project Titan and much more.

RV content

In context with RV content, Apple notes, “In some embodiments, point clouds it can be generated in the software (for example, instead of being captured by a sensor). For example, in patent number 802 8 of the following figure, virtual reality or augmented reality content can be produced. Virtual reality or augmented reality content can include point cloud data and non-point cloud data.

3D applications

The Apple FIG. The following 7 illustrates the compressed dot clouds used in a 3D application. In some embodiments, a 3D application can transmit point cloud data in real time. For example, a one-barrel camera may allow a remote user to experience walking through a virtual cannon.

3 - Point cloud in context with live 3D content

Regarding the Titan Project: Apple notes that “In some embodiments, other sensors, in addition to LIDAR systems, 3D cameras, 3D scanners, etc., can capture attribute information for inclusion in a point cloud.

For example, in some embodiments, a gyroscope or accelerometer may capture motion information for inclusion in a point cloud as an attribute associated with one or more points in the point cloud.

For example, a vehicle equipped with a LIDAR system, a 3D camera, or a 3D scanner may include the direction and speed of the vehicle in a point cloud captured by the LIDAR system, the 3D camera, or the 3D D Scanner technology.

For example, when capturing points in a vehicle view, they can be included in a point cloud, where the point cloud includes captured points and associated motion information corresponding to a state of the vehicle when the points were captured.


Apple points out that computer systems can implement the dot cloud system using an encoder and decoder on devices such as a personal computer system, desktop computer, laptop, notebook, tablet, whiteboard, laptop or netbook, system mainframe computer, handheld, workstation, network computer, camera, decoder, mobile device, consumer device, video game console, portable video game device, application server, storage device, a television, a video recording device, a peripheral device such as a switch, modem, router, or, in general, any type of computer or electronic device.

For more information, see Apple Patent Application No. 20210218994. Apple only filed this patent application in January 2021, although there was an unpublished interim patent previously filed in January 2020.

There was only one engineer listed in this patent: David Flynn of Munich, Germany. I couldn’t find anyone working for Apple on LinkedIn. I learned through the vineyard that Apple will request that certain key staff not have an active LinkedIn account in order to keep an eye out for a particular project.

For engineers and developers, there was a second Apple patent released today that refers to point clouds from Apple engineer David Flynn himself, entitled “Geometry Coding Using Bytes and Predictive Trees,” which you can review here.

It is unknown where Apple will take this invention pending patent for the first time, but it certainly has a lot of potential, especially in live applications in AR / VR, sports broadcasting and Project Titan.

Given that this is a patent application, it is not yet known when this product will be marketed.

10.51FX - Patent Application Bar

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