An Apple patent application reveals that future VR headsets could have a cinematic solution, with audio and video transitions to avoid physical blockages.
While apple has not publicly admitted to working in virtual reality (VR) headphones, continues to file patents related to this device. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been very clear about the importance for the future of a similar technology, augmented reality (RA). RA goes a step beyond virtual reality, allowing for a real-world view. When using the RV or seeing the world through a busy RA display, there is an inherent risk of crashing into furniture or other physical objects that may be blocked by computer-generated images. A recent Apple patent addresses this issue with a different solution than current VR headsets.
Apple expressed interest in AR in 2017, launching a developer interface called ARKit. These were a few years behind Google’s first work in the field, but Apple immediately gained a leadership position by allowing the use of this technology on a large number of mobile devices. IPhone and iPad models dating back to 2015 have had access to this capability, and Apple currently claims to have hundreds of millions of AR-enabled devices. Although virtual reality has its own challenges, it is closely related and full-featured AR headsets would include virtual reality as a subset of their capabilities.
A recent Apple patent application reveals that a future Apple VR headset could detect real-world obstacles and alert the wearer so they can avoid colliding with TV stands, sofas or other nearby objects. This process has two parts: first detecting objects that are too close to the user and then communicating the danger within the world of virtual reality, ideally so as not to interfere with the use and enjoyment of headphones. Detecting distance to objects is a simple matter for Apple, given its history of depth detection technology found in Face ID, portrait mode photos, and LiDAR scanners. Any of these methods can be used for a VR headset to identify potential dangers for a person who has their vision obscured by the virtual world the headset generates.
Apple VR collision alerts
Apple’s patent application on collision prevention for a VR headset is more advanced than that of the main VR headset, Facebook’s Oculus Quest. The mission prompts the user to draw a virtual security area on the floor while displaying a low-resolution AR view of the room and reveals this boundary as a graphic cage as the user approaches the edge. While this helps, a two-dimensional layout does not take into account objects with protrusions at different heights, such as floor lamps and wall-mounted TVs. The mission also depends on the user drawing accurately and taking into account the reach of the arm. The depth detection accuracy of a future Apple VR headset cannot be compared, but the suggestion is that you could consider real objects instead of relying on a predefined scheme of a safe area. Apple’s solution for alerting the user of a possible collision is even more interesting, describing an advanced combination of real and virtual world scenes and sounds.
It is described that Apple’s cross-dissolution in the real world coincides with the perspective of the real room and has certain graphic elements that fade faster than others, such as walls, floors and ceilings that disappear faster than the characters in the real world. game and virtual objects. The latter of which could appear behind objects within the real environment, as if elements of the two realities were merging. The patent document indicates that virtual world audio can also fade into real world audio. Acoustic properties are also mentioned as a mixture of virtual and real ambient sounds during the transition. This would provide a more cinema-like experience, as if traveling through a portal than the abrupt change that would come from a hard cut or a simple fade, a good example of the care Apple’s planning takes. This fusion of worlds is also described as functioning in both directions, i.e., a transition in and out of VR, and a partial change when there is a danger of colliding with physical objects. While this is only a patent application, rumors and leaks suggest that Apple VR headsets could arrive as early as next year and this gives an idea of the type of advanced work that is being done. is doing in research of this product.
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