Apple to Enter Immersive Tech Arena?

Apple to Enter Immersive Tech Arena?

Apple certainly looks as through it's gearing up for its first forays into the world of immersive technology. The company has just been granted another AR/VR-related technology patent, to add to their growing list. This time, it’s a transparent, high field of view display which seems to be designed for use within the augmented reality sector.

This particular patent was originally filed back in June 2012. It's described as a “Peripheral Treatment of Head-mounted Displays” and describes technology that would allow a device to overlay digital images onto a real setting, via a transparent display. The patent details a form of AR display that seems to utilise technology similar to optical waveguide, a way to bounce light from a source to a destination with minimal loss of signal. This would produce "holograms", similar to the Microsoft HoloLens approach.

An interesting example given in the patent  is that a person could hold 
up a device to a painting in a museum and see lots of related information, overlaid into their field of view. In another example, it's suggested that the augmented reality screen technology could be used in a tour bus so information is overlaid on monuments as it drives around.

The signs are mounting that Apple is taking augmented reality seriously. It's recently made several acquisitions within the industry, including the acquisition of AR start-up Metaio. Metaio’s technology combines real-world imagery with computer-generated elements. Its software can be used to create augmented reality scenarios. For instance, Ferrari used it to create an augmented reality showroom. Earlier this year, it was reported that Apple bought another AR start-up—Flyby Media. Flyby worked with Alphabet Inc’s “Project Tango” smartphone. Its software allows smartphones to see the world around them and attach messages to real-world objects. Others would be able to see the messages when they scan the same objects.

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