What you need to know
- An Apple patent has revealed how an AR/VR headset from Apple could adjust to fit different users.
- It would use sensing circuitry to measure your eyes and nose.
- The lenses could then be adjusted to prevent excessive pressure and a comfortable fit.
An Apple patent has revealed how an AR/VR headset of the future could use sensors to automatically adjust to the shape of your face.
The patent, published February 27, is titled 'Electronic Device With Lens Position Sensing' and the abstract states:
A head-mounted device may have a display with first and second pixel arrays that display content for a user. A head-mounted support structure in the device supports the pixel arrays on the head of the user. A left positioner may be used to position a left lens module that includes a left lens and the first pixel array. A right positioner may be used to position a right lens module that includes a right lens and the second pixel array. Sensing circuitry such as proximity sensing circuitry may be used to detect relative positions between the left and right lens modules and facing surfaces of a user's nose while the user is wearing the head-mounted support structure. Control circuitry may adjust the positions of the left and right lens modules using interpupillary distance information for the user and using information from the sensing circuitry.
The description of the patent states:
Not all users have eyes that are separated by the same interpupillary distance. To ensure that a wide range of users are able to comfortably view content on the display, the head-mounted device may be provided with lens positioners. The lens positioners may be used in adjusting the lens-to-lens spacing between the left and right lenses to match the interpupillary distance of the user.
To prevent excessive pressure on the surface of the user's nose, proximity sensors can be used to automatically detect the surfaces of the user's nose. Control circuitry in the head-mounted device may then place the left and right lenses and corresponding left and right portions of the display at comfortable locations relative to the user's nose. In some situations, the left and right lenses may be spaced so that the lens-to-lens spacing between the left and right lenses matches the user's interpupillary distance. In other situations, the lens-to-lens spacing between the left and right lenses will be slightly larger than the user's interpupillary distance to ensure that the lenses do not press excessively against the user's nose. Sensor circuitry such as proximity sensor circuitry may be used to provide the control circuitry with real-time feedback on the positions of the lenses relative to the user's nose, thereby ensuring that the positions of the left and right lenses are adjusted satisfactorily.
Essentially, this technology could measure the distance between your eyes, automatically adjusting the lenses of the headset to ensure optimal viewing and a comfortable fit on your face. It's an interesting solution to a problem that hasn't had too much attention, the fact that most AR/VR headsets are a one-size-fits-all device, and that whilst they are comfortable for some, they aren't necessarily comfortable for others.
Not only does this patent further point to Apple's exploration of an AR/VR experience, but also an innovative way to make the product comfortable to wear. Of course, this is just a patent, so there's no guarantee a product will ever see the light of stay. Still cool though.