According to a report by PhoneArena, Apple has recently applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a new patent known as ‘Display System With Localized Optical Adjustments’. The patent might be consistent with the rumored Apple new head-wearing black technology product. In other words, we might be dealing with the Apple Glass and it might come in the next two years.
In the last two years, Apple has applied for many patents that are related to headsets. This made the Apple Glass to become a buzzword over the net. As early as 2018, industry insiders disclosed that the alleged Apple Glasses based on AR technology will be equipped with 5nm chips. At the same time, Apple’s iPhone X used a 10nm A11 bionic processor.
At present, Apple has entered the 5nm era with A14 bionic processor. So, the source predicts that the VR glasses might appear on the shelves within two years. There has been no official statement regarding the name of this product. But a popular analyst Jon Prosser thinks that the smart headset might be called the ‘Apple Glass’. But there is nothing so weird with this naming because it is almost same to Google’s smart glasses known as ‘Google Glass’.
There are many reasons to explain why the upcoming Apple Glass is so interesting. This month, Apple applied to US Patent and Trademark Office for a new patent known as ‘Display System With Localized Optical Adjustments’. Apple explained the concept of ‘local light adjustment’ in the patent. Apple said that an adjustable lens system might be adjusted dynamically for accomodation of various users and/or various operating situations. Adjustable light modulators might be used to selectively darken parts of a user’s field of view.
Simply saying, the lens based on this patented technology can easily adapt to the ambient light by adjusting the brightness of the real scene imaging. Apple also provided an example of the main usage scenarios of this technology. If a head-mounted display system is used for displaying computer-generated content that overlaps real-world objects, the brightness of the real-world objects can be decreased for enhancing the visibility of computer-generated content.
Particularly speaking, a spatially addressable adjustable light modulator might be used for generating a dark region that overlaps a bright real-world object that is overlapped by computer-generated content in the upper right corner of a user’s field of view.
Apple aims to explain that this set of lenses can enhance the visibility of the item in the computer-generated picture by decreasing the brightness of the item in the real scene. At the same time, the brightness of the composite picture in the lens will change with the brightness of the real scene. Because the lenses are completely adjustable, the left and right eye images can also be adjusted independently.
According to a report by TomsGuide, Apple Glass will be based on the Starboard (or glassOS) operating system. After users connect the smart product to their iPhone, it can show text messages, emails, maps, games and other content on the lens in real time. Industry sources have also claimed that a patent previously obtained by Apple seems to indicate that Apple Glass will come with ‘optical components’ and automatically adjust to meet the needs of nearsighted people. But, some analysts pointed out that the patent might refer to VR headset accessories for smartphones.
In the year 2017, Gene Munster, a popular technology analyst and partner of venture capital firm Loup Ventures, predicted that Apple’s smart glasses sales will surpass the sales of iPhone. Munster added that Apple Glass will have a large number of functions of the iPhone. The analyst once said to customers that though iPhone will not be eliminated in the next ten years, with the increasing popularity of Apple Glass, the importance of iPhone business to Apple will be greatly decreased.
On 4th April, 2012, Google introduced a video and officially launched its smart headset product Google Glass and hoped to make it a daily necessity for smart life. It was seen in the video that users can see the map flexibly through Google Glass. they can also chat with friends through audio, video, text without taking out the smartphones. But, this technologically-sense product eventually withdrew from the consumer market because of flaws in privacy, security and price.
Movie theaters restrict customers from wearing Google Glass because of the fear that they secretly record the ‘gun version’ of popular movies; bars shut out Google Glass users fearing that they secretly photograph other guests. Many also call the smart glasses ‘glasses bastards’. Additionally, the rumored price of $1,500 was not acceptable at the time. Google Glass at last found a way out among manufacturers. Today, Apple hopes to build Apple Glass into a product that adults love. But the past lessons of Google show that this is not an easy task.
On the basis of the analysis of Bloomberg, MacRumor and others, Apple might release smart glasses before 2023. According to the patents at present applied by Apple, the smart glasses might have many functions like holographic projection, real-time synchronization of smartphone information, myopia adjustment and ambient light adaptation. A few experts also believe that Apple’s smart glasses might even replace Apple’s smartphones but on the basis of the information available at present, this is not much possible.
Firstly, Apple’s smart glasses have been positioned as smartphone accessories, not core single products. A few sources have pointed out that Apple Glass needs to be connected to an Apple phone and does not undertake computing tasks. The computing host is still the iPhone. This way of use also means that Apple Glass is destined to be difficult for replacing the iPhone.
Secondly, smart glasses are the only link in the outer cover of the smart wear. It is hard to replace the standardized items like smartphones. Smart glasses, smart gloves, smart watches, smart screens and other smart components together form a smart wearable outer cover and provides humans with many perceptual smart experiences like seeing, hearing, smelling and touching. It is not so easy for a single pair of glasses to replace a smartphone and complete all smart tasks.
Thirdly, there are other technical difficulties and ethical problems in smart glasses. If we take Google Glass as an example, privacy, supervision, cost and other problems make this black technology product just a retreat to the factory. Though Apple has advantages in the system and user volume, it can better convert iPhone users into smart glasses users. The smart headset industry is still immature. Also, universal privacy and regulatory issues are not so easy to be solved in the short term.
Although, it cannot easily replace smartphones, the revolutionary improvements that smart glasses might bring in gaming and interaction are still worth looking forward to.