Today, the U.S. patent and Trademark Office announced Apple’s patent application 20200049996, which is related to Apple’s future hybrid reality head display device (HMD), which will use a waveguide display system with an adjustable lens. This will make the head display device look thinner and more modern rather than bulky. In addition, the new system will show the required level of optical performance.
Apple’s patented invention relates to an MR headset device that can be used to provide users with digital content overlaid on real-world content. The HMD will be connected to iPhone, pad or Mac.
Apple pointed out that in AR mode, users can directly view the real-world content through the transparent part of the optical system. In another mode, the real world will be captured by the face camera on the HMD, and the optical system can be used to present the image directly in front of the user from one or more pixel arrays or scanning devices in the display system.
The optical system of the device includes, for example, a waveguide composed of several thin planar waveguides made of one or more layers of transparent materials or other materials such as glass or plastic to transmit image light from the pixel array to the user’s eyes.
The lighting system may include a light source that provides illumination for the display. The luminous display generates image light, and the input optical coupler can be used to couple light from the light source into the waveguide of the lighting system.
The output optocoupler can be used to couple the display illumination out of the waveguide. The input and output couplers can also be used to optically couple the image from the display to the waveguide in the optical system and to optically couple the image out of the waveguide for viewing by the user.
The input and output couplers of the head mounted device may form a lens structure such as a Bragg grating, a prism, an angled transparent structure, or a lens structure that couples light into and out of the waveguide.
The input and output optocouplers may be formed by diffraction couplers such as volume holograms, other holographic coupling elements, or other diffraction coupling structures.
The input and output couplers may be formed, for example, of a thin or thick layer of a photosensitive polymer or other optocoupler structure in which a laser is used to record a hologram.
In some configurations, the optocoupler may be formed by a dynamically adjustable device such as a liquid crystal component (E. G., a tunable liquid crystal grating, a polymer dispersed liquid crystal device) or other adjustable optocoupler.
Figure 1 of Apple’s patent is a schematic diagram of a headset device; Fig. 3 is a top view of an illustrative display system for a headset device having a waveguide and a liquid crystal lens.
The architecture of Apple’s future MR head display is extremely complex. Although Apple’s patent Fig.1 simplifies the system, you may need to look at a variety of technologies considered for its head display in today’s patent applications.
For example, the sensors considered include: motion sensors (such as compass, gyroscope, accelerometer or other equipment used to monitor the position, direction and motion of head display, circuit system of satellite navigation system (such as circuit system of global positioning system, used to monitor user position, etc.), and sensors from 26. In Fig. 1, the control circuit 12 can monitor the relative direction and position of the user’s head, and can also use sensors to monitor the user’s head movement (E. G., left or right movement to track objects on the screen or view other objects in the real world).
If necessary, the sensor may include an ambient light sensor for measuring ambient light intensity or ambient light color, a force sensor, a temperature sensor, a touch sensor, a capacitive proximity sensor, a light-based proximity sensor, other proximity sensors, a strain gauge, a gas sensor, a pressure sensor, a humidity sensor, a magnetic sensor, etc.
Although the patent application focuses on future head display devices, apple pointed out that aspects of the invention can be applied to other future devices, such as head up displays of iPads, iPhones, smart glasses, cockpit, cars, etc., and display based devices (televisions, projectors, etc.).