Apple Engineer and YouTuber Mark Rober Working on Anti-Motion Sickness VR Technology for Use in Autonomous Vehicles

Engineer and popular YouTuber Mark Rober, who is known for his science-related videos that can rack up millions of views, works at Apple as an engineer in the special projects group, reports Variety.

The site says that Rober has been working on Apple's virtual reality projects, including "using VR as on-board entertainment for self-driving cars." On Rober's LinkedIn page, it says he works as a product designer at an unspecified company he first joined in 2015, suggesting he's been with Apple for some time.

applepatent1
To explain the kinds of things Rober may be working on, Variety points to a pair of Apple patent applications that cover an "Immersive Visual Display" and an "Augmented Virtual Display," which were filed in 2016 and describe virtual reality systems that could be used by passengers in self-driving cars. The patents list Mark Rober as a primary inventor.

Both of the patents describe a VR headset that could help alleviate in-car motion sickness in autonomous vehicles, with one suggesting replacing the view of the real world with virtual environments that include visual cues to match physical motions the passenger is experiencing and the other describing virtual content that appears as a fixed object in the external environment.

One of the patents suggests that a virtual reality system for cutting down on motion sickness could aid in productivity because it would allow passengers (which would include all persons in an autonomous vehicle as a driver would not be required) to perform work while the vehicle is in motion without experiencing motion sickness. It also suggests VR could provide "enhanced virtual experiences" to passengers.

applepatent2

Many passengers in vehicles may experience motion sickness. Typically, this is not the case for the driver. However, with the arrival of autonomous vehicles, the driver becomes a passenger, and thus may want to occupy themselves while, for example, riding to work. Passengers in conventional or autonomous vehicles may, for example, want to read a book, or work on their notebook computer.

Apple is currently working on autonomous driving software that is being tested in Lexus SUVs that are out on the road near its Cupertino headquarters, and the technology is reportedly being implemented into employee shuttles.

Apple has inked a deal with Volkswagen to use Volkswagen T6 Transporter vans as self-driving shuttles to transport employees around its various campuses and office buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's not clear if and when Apple plans to implement the VR technology Rober is working on into the shuttles or other future autonomous car projects, but there are many concepts that Apple patents that never make it into finished products.

Prior to joining Apple, Rober spent eight years as mechanical engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and he also served as a product designer at Morph Costumes.


He also maintains a popular YouTube channel with 3.4 million subscribers, sharing science-related videos like "Lemon Powered Supercar," "How to Survive a Grenade Blast," "How Much Pee is in Your Pool," and "iPhone ATM PIN Code Hack - How to Prevent."

Related Roundups: Apple Car, Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

citysnaps Avatar
56 months ago
People want a good Mac, not a convoluted VR system for a car that is 4-6 years away from being announced yet alone released (given the delays in Apple products recently) -- nobody is asking for this! I'm sick of hearing the "Not all of the engineers are working on the car/iphone/ipad/homepod/etc." argument, I used to say that to people on here but now I'm beginning to sympathize with the supposed 'haters.' They were never haters at all! Just power users! Clearly the 'not all engineers' argument can't be the case when you look at the current state of the Mac, or the mind-blowing delays in their products (AirPower being released a year+ from announcement? Seriously?). Now we're hearing Ive's team had the balls to consider removing all ports from the iPhone... it's only a matter of time before the MacBook Pro will meet the same fate of being completely port-less, save for a single charge port. Removing all the ports from the iPhone serves no true function and doesn't improve anyone's life, Ive, it just satisfies your aesthetic itch.

Reclaim your title as the leader in professional workstations, Apple, it's what many of us are waiting to give you thousands of dollars for. It's worthless having "a virtual reality system for cutting down on motion sickness [to] aid in productivity" for your car if the passengers don't have a power-user OS in the first place to utilize it. It seems true innovation is dead at Apple. Imagine the state of MacOS if there was a genuine focus on how to make an operating system for power users in this era, something truly groundbreaking and ballsy, instead we're still using the same fundamental OS design from 2 decades ago -- oh, sorry, we have dark mode now! what a relief!

When the day comes where the "courage" necessary to remove the headphone jack on the iPhone is applied to taking risks for power users, that's the day I will weep with true joy.
Muster up some courage, vote with your wallet purchasing products that meet your needs, and find happiness in life. The above is just plain embarrassing.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
56 months ago
I get motion sick in cars AND from VR headsets so I can't help but imagining something like this making me twice as sick.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheTruth101 Avatar
56 months ago
LOL... do you remember when you used to get into the car and just drive it?

What about when the girl on your side wants to "hold your hand"?

All these technologies are rendering people useless. It reminds me the intro of the movie Idiocracy, human evolution used to reward the smartest but there was a point that everything started to be so easy that people became lazy and evolution stop rewarding intelligence but instead started to reward fertility.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TimmeyCook Avatar
56 months ago
LOL... do you remember when you used to get into the car and just drive it?

What about when the girl on your side wants to "hold your hand"?

All these technologies are rendering people useless. It reminds me the intro of the movie Idiocracy, human evolution used to reward the smartest but there was a point that everything started to be so easy that people became lazy and evolution stop rewarding intelligence but instead started to reward fertility.
My father is in good health. But one eye is already f**** up.

My parents live in a rural area, where they NEED the car even for basic daily needs like buying bread as everything is far from home.

There are lots of people in that situation and much worse, driving is nice but cars that drive themselves are in need today, and even more in the future where people live longer.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Boyd01 Avatar
56 months ago
Why would a self-driving car have a special need for motion sickness relief? Are the issues any different from those of a passenger in a taxi, for example?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zakarhino Avatar
56 months ago
People want a good Mac, not a convoluted VR system for a car that is 4-6 years away from being announced yet alone released (given the delays in Apple products recently) -- nobody is asking for this! I'm sick of hearing the "Not all of the engineers are working on the car/iphone/ipad/homepod/etc." argument, I used to say that to people on here but now I'm beginning to sympathize with the supposed 'haters.' They were never haters at all! Just power users! Clearly the 'not all engineers' argument can't be the case when you look at the current state of the Mac, or the mind-blowing delays in their products (AirPower being released a year+ from announcement? Seriously?). Now we're hearing Ive's team had the balls to consider removing all ports from the iPhone... it's only a matter of time before the MacBook Pro will meet the same fate of being completely port-less, save for a single charge port. Removing all the ports from the iPhone serves no true function and doesn't improve anyone's life, Ive, it just satisfies your aesthetic itch.

Reclaim your title as the leader in professional workstations, Apple, it's what many of us are waiting to give you thousands of dollars for. It's worthless having "a virtual reality system for cutting down on motion sickness [to] aid in productivity" for your car if the passengers don't have a power-user OS in the first place to utilize it. It seems true innovation is dead at Apple. Imagine the state of MacOS if there was a genuine focus on how to make an operating system for power users in this era, something truly groundbreaking and ballsy, instead we're still using the same fundamental OS design from 2 decades ago -- oh, sorry, we have dark mode now! what a relief!

When the day comes where the "courage" necessary to remove the headphone jack on the iPhone is applied to taking risks for power users, that's the day I will weep with true joy.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
maxresdefault

Apple Responds to Video Testing Crash Detection Feature With Junkyard Vehicles

Friday September 30, 2022 9:11 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern recently traveled to Michigan to test Apple's new crash detection feature on the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Ultra. In response, Apple provided some additional information about how the feature works. Stern recruited Michael Barabe to crash his demolition derby car with a heavy-duty steel frame into two unoccupied vehicles parked in a junkyard — a 2003...
Hero0005

Best Apple Deals of the Week: M2 MacBook Air Hits New All-Time Low Price at $1,049, Plus Sales on AirPods Pro and More

Friday September 30, 2022 9:05 am PDT by
This week's best Apple deals focus on the AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and M2 MacBook Air, including numerous all-time low prices on these devices. You'll also find up to 50 percent off discounts on Anker and Eufy accessories on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...
iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
iOS 16 Wallpaper Spectrum Feature

Five Wallpaper Apps to Check Out for iOS 16's New Lock Screen Depth Effect

Thursday September 29, 2022 9:08 am PDT by
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is a completely redesigned iPhone Lock Screen. The new Lock Screen is entirely customizable, letting you change the colors and fonts, add widgets and new wallpapers, and more to make your iPhone uniquely yours. Of course, even before iOS 16, you could customize your Lock Screen with a wallpaper of your choice. iOS 16 takes the Lock Screen wallpaper...
top stories 1oct2022

Top Stories: Stage Manager Expands to Older iPad Pro Models, No October Apple Event?

Saturday October 1, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
While we had been expecting a follow-up October Apple event focused on Mac and iPad announcements, it sounds like we might not be getting another event after all. Instead, the pending updates in those product segments could be considered minor enough that they may be announced via press releases. It wasn't all bad news, however, with Apple announcing that it will be expanding an on-device...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...