Apple Outlines How Augmented Reality Glasses Could Overlay Points of Interest

Multiple reports suggest that Apple is developing an augmented reality headset or glasses that could be released by 2020 or 2021, and a newly granted Apple patent may provide some broad clues about potential features.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent describing a "method for representing points of interest in a view of a real environment on a mobile device," and while there is no specific mention of so-called Apple Glasses, the patent describes a "head-mounted display."

apple glasses patent 2
As with many other augmented reality devices, the head-mounted display would be able to overlay computer-generated virtual information onto a view of the real environment. More specifically, the headset would have a camera that is able to identify and annotate points of interest and other objects.

One illustration in the patent shows a head-mounted display showing buildings, each identified with an overlaying label. In another embodiment, an iPhone is shown with detailed information about a specific point of interest.

apple glasses patent 1
While the head-mounted display looks like a pair of snowboarding goggles, patent illustrations are merely examples.

Apple files numerous patent applications every week, of course, and many of the inventions do not see the light of day. Patents are also very detailed, encompassing many possible ideas, even ones that Apple might not have any plans to advance. So, the exact implementation if any remains to be seen.

At this point, it's not entirely clear if Apple is working on Google Glasses-like glasses or a HoloLens-like headset. Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed more of an interest in augmented reality than virtual reality, however, and the patent does suggest that Apple is focused on augmenting the real world.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has previously reported that Apple's headset will use a custom iOS-based operating system dubbed "rOS" for now. He also said the headset would wirelessly connect to an ‌iPhone‌.

Apple has acquired multiple augmented reality startups including Metaio in 2015, Vrvana in 2017, and Akonia Holographics last year, and has hired away employees from HoloLens and similar companies, as it continues to work on the project. In fact, the inventors listed on this patent are former Metaio employees.

AppleInsider was first to report on the patent being granted today. Apple applied for the patent back in 2017.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses
Tag: patent

Top Rated Comments

gwhizkids Avatar
23 months ago

AR & VR are dead as consumer products. They may have some use for professionals, but the general consumer isn't going to wear a device that blocks their mobility.

Yup. And smartphones were dead in 2005 because no one could invent a means of passing inputs to the phone without a keyboard. Oh...yeah...right...
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jona2125 Avatar
23 months ago

AR & VR are dead as consumer products.

This is so unbelievably incorrect.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jyby Avatar
23 months ago
Science Rules!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
23 months ago

I would expect Apple to be curious - but that doesn't mean they will actually make a product... Apple does patent trolling as well.

I believe great augmented reality glasses will kill off the Apple Watch some day... Maybe even the iPhone.

That's not patent trolling
[doublepost=1551200394][/doublepost]

They limit your field-of-view and are distracting with lag.

You wouldn't drive with it.

No, AR doesn't limit your field of view. VR does. AR gives you your full field of view, and augments it by superimposing things over some of what is already in your view. People already drive with AR - some cars have heads up displays, for example. Fighter pilots fly with AR helmets. It's fine.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacATDBB Avatar
23 months ago
Kind of surprised this passed prior-art as I'm pretty sure I came across virtually the same thing described in detail 30 years ago in Scientific American.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordVic Avatar
23 months ago

I would expect Apple to be curious - but that doesn't mean they will actually make a product... Apple does patent trolling as well.

I believe great augmented reality glasses will kill off the Apple Watch some day... Maybe even the iPhone.

this is a pure Patent troll attempt and an absolute shocker that this was even granted.

there is prior art of existing tech that does this.

I remember trying an App back in 2015 that attempted to do this, overlay points of interest over buildings when I did a tour of Europe. it sucked.. But was pretty much what this patent is claiming.

now, i have no doubt with Apple's power and money they can make a version of this that doesn't completely utterly suck. But, prior art is prior art. This is a patent that shouldn't have been awarded.

http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/life/top-10-augmented-reality-travel-apps-569570/
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. 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 keep the...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. 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 keep the site...
windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. 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 keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
iPad Pro 5G and Mini LED feature

Rumored 2021 High-End iPad Pro May Feature 5G With mmWave Support

Thursday November 26, 2020 2:14 am PST by
Apple's rumored high-end iPad Pro models to be released next year will be 5G-enabled with mmWave support, according to sources cited by industry publication DigiTimes. Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display next year, with the possibility that there will be an 11-inch mini-LED model too, but details beyond that have...