Apple has long been rumored to have designs on launching augmented reality (AR) glasses beyond the mixed reality headset that's expected next year. Now, a new patent suggests the company has found a simple solution for people who need prescription lenses.
That patent describes clip-on prescription lenses that would also include information about that prescription, allowing the glasses to make adjustments to ensure that on-screen data remains legible.
It's all coming into focus
The patent, discovered by Patently Apple, describes a clip-on with machine-readable markings to allow the so-called Apple Glass to identify what has been attached. That information could include the prescription itself or other information entirely.
The Apple Glass system would likely need to be aware of the prescription placed in front of it to adjust various systems. So there is also provision for the left and right lenses carrying different prescriptions, with the machine-readable markings also making that clear.
The same patent also suggests that Apple Glass could be made aware that the wearer is colorblind or has other specific needs so that appropriate accommodations can be made.
Apple Glass, expected to be similar to the failed Google Glass but with more advanced technology, is many years away from being ready to ship. However, the arrival of next year's mixed reality headset is seen as the precursor for Apple Glass, as are various AR-based features already available for iPhone users.
While rumors relating to Apple Glass and the mixed reality headset have often been intertwined over the years, rumors specific to AR glasses began back in 2016. Then, Bloomberg reported that Apple was " weighing an expansion into digital glasses, a risky but potentially lucrative area of wearable computing."
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.