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Apple Wins Patent For Head-Mounted Display Tech

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the I-want-my-iglasses dept.

Patents 116

redletterdave writes "It appears that Google is no longer alone in exploring the realm of wearable tech solutions. Apple was granted a patent on Thursday in relation to 'peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays.' While Google Glass places a piece of smartglass right above the user's eye, Apple's solution uses two peripheral lights to show two different images to each eye 'to create an enhanced viewing experience for the user.' Apple's patent also attempts to address the biggest problems with head-mounted displays (HMDs), particularly tunnel vision and motion sickness."

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116 comments

Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#40558767)

Its a good thing the Military has been using this technology since the 70's [wikipedia.org] or Apple would be trying to ban the importation of any device using anything that even resembled their solution based on nothing more than the same of the corners.

It looks to me like they stole technology from the F35 helmet system.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (3, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#40558809)

You dont understand! Apple is using TWO displays, unlike the one used by the military in helicopters. TWO! Clearly patent worthy.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40558887)

Clearly! Apple is making great strides in putting the 'augmented' in the 'augmented reality' penises these things will be used solely for.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40558915)

Apple is using TWO displays

Huh?! TWO displays??

Shining two beams of lights does not make "TWO displays"
 

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (4, Insightful)

ThePeices (635180) | about 2 years ago | (#40558993)

Apple is using TWO displays

Huh?! TWO displays??

Shining two beams of lights does not make "TWO displays"

And?

Since when has logic, common sense and reasoning been a mitigating factor in the granting of patents?

The patent system is just another abusive business tool used to stifle competition.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (1)

oztiks (921504) | about 2 years ago | (#40559019)

What a waste of a patient. The HMD technology displayed in there seems fairly rudimentary. No mention of 3D tech which would of been my first thought of holding any real use to the experience of HMD (if someone can find it good for them let me know).

It takes care of motion but so did Google Glasses and it was published publicly first, so that takes care of that about who did what first.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-mounted_display [wikipedia.org] takes care of the existence of HMD's before. NB to fanboys pay close attention to the manufacturers section these guys did it first okay not Apple okay even if they acquire one of these companies.

There are by the looks 4 different methods applied for viewing OLED, LED, Laser, LCoS I'm certain Apple didn't invent these either, someone else can cite this as its not worth the digging.

That leaves the concept of splitting it between two displays for each eye. Pretty sure it was thought of before, you know cause we have two of them... wait wait, yes the first point raised in "Performance parameters" under the Wikipedia article linked above.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (2)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | about 2 years ago | (#40560121)

The patent is for a way of "lighting" the fringe of the phyxical glass display and giving it a colored hue. Typically an HMD does not present a display that covers the full field of view of the physical glass that it is projected onto, so the image is projected in the center of the field of view and the periphery contains no image. The patent claims that this is uncomfortable and distracting to the user so they are patent the idea of providing a colored hue to the periphery of the physical surface so that it blends nicely with the computer driven display.

Of course, they are not patenting a specific method for accomplishing this despite the fact that each HMD would present its own issues and engineering challenges in accomplishing this. They make claims like it increases comfort and "may decrease" the occurence of motion sickness. The figures in the patent are total bullshit put in to make the patent look more impressive and complex than it really is.

What kind of work the patent office does, anyway? (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40560677)

The figures in the patent are total bullshit put in to make the patent look more impressive and complex than it really is.

If I publish a scientific paper, and in my paper I back it up with a lot of bullshit figures

Not long after the publication someone else will discover my bullshit figure and I will suffer all the negative consequences that I deserve

On the other hand, if I file for a patent, and back up my patent filing with a lot of bullshit figures

When my patent is granted, I got my patent and enjoy all the patent royalties that it generates.

As long as my patent does not infringe on others patent, legally speaking, nobody can do anything

That is what is wrong with the patent system

And that is why the patent office must either go through a total overhaul or shut down altogether
 

Re:What kind of work the patent office does, anywa (3, Insightful)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40562233)

Do you have a newsletter?

Re:What kind of work the patent office does, anywa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40563381)

You have a sick, twisted mind. Please subscribe me to your newsletter.

FTFY

Re:What kind of work the patent office does, anywa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40562871)

A patent is like a "First Post!" in the business world. There is a huge financial advantage to SPAM the system.
It is mostly filed by trolls, but sometimes there are "Insightful Post".

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | about 2 years ago | (#40560731)

"It takes care of motion but so did Google Glasses and it was published publicly first, so that takes care of that about who did what first."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ8pQVDyaLo

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (2)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | about 2 years ago | (#40560037)

I know that you are joking, but the military has been using dual eye displays for quite some time.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40563263)

Didn't they do the exact same thing in tanks and submarines for gunners?

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40558853)

Reread TFA. Then, if necessary, take a look at the patent. Then read the article you linked to. Reflect on the fact that, while the two systems try to achieve the same goal, they obviously do so in very different ways.

In fact, don't even bother with all that. Just reread the summary, and look at the photo in the wikipedia page you sent. That should be enough to make it clear, to anyone who is paying even a little bit of attention, that the military's tech does not use "two peripheral lights to show two different images to each eye." Then, finally, for the good of /.ers everywhere, realize that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#40559307)

Sigh. Another AC that can't read past the first paragraph.

Scroll All The Way down and read about the F35 helmet system and notice two projection heads.

Two. Count them. They project on the back side of the full face mask.

Its s full HUD in a Helmet, because the plane doesn't have a
UD.

Go fan boy somewhere else.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (2)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 2 years ago | (#40559521)

The military has been using side projection techniques for quite a while and if that's not enough for you lumus http://www.lumusvision.com/ [lumusvision.com] has actually built a product (about 5 years ago) and not just sat around shouting "we are so smart we could do this if we tried so give us a patent"; and world augmented reality has been commercialised by Google for a long time. I honestly don't understand what brain dead iFanatics they have working at the patent office, and how hypocritical apple can be when they steal such vital truly genius tech while aggressively suing over things as simple as 'slide to unlock'.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40558899)

It looks to me like they stole technology from the F35 helmet system.

Unless Apple has a real time machine in the Reality Distortion Field, this is unlikely.

Filed: October 13, 2006

The F35 helmets are not fully functional yet and BAE has been contracted to fix them as VSI's original design is inadequate.. VSI didn't have a working model until 2010 [vsi-hmcs.com] .

You don't know what you're talking about. (4, Informative)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#40559445)

I'm sorry, but you obviously have no idea what is being claimed here. Here is what the patent summary says:

The present invention provides methods and apparatus for treating the peripheral area of a user's field of view in a head mounted display, and thereby creating improved comfort and usability for head mounted displays. The peripheral area adjacent to the displayed image is treated, such that the peripheral area is coordinated with the image on the display. The coordination can be in the form of color projections, achieved, for example, by light emitting diodes (LEDs) or other displays, such that the colors surrounding the display dynamically matches what is shown on the display. As a result, the peripheral area “converges” with the display area, which reduces the “tunnel effect” or “box effect” experienced by the user. Various embodiments of the invention allow users to customize different viewing parameters of the head mounted displays to accommodate for variation in the individual users' eyes.

If you would actually read the patent [freepatentsonline.com] you'd notice that Apple is well aware of other head mounted display technologies (they list them in the patent). As the title says, this is a "Peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays" to prevent motion sickness and increase the length of time such a device can be used.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 2 years ago | (#40559503)

Its a good thing the Military has been using this technology since the 70's

The patent is for the implementation not the idea.

It looks to me like they stole technology from the F35 helmet system.

The F35 helmet (1) is not yet combat ready and (2) is not mass market consumer tech.

The problems with the current Vision Systems International helmet-mounted display led Lockheed Martin to issue a draft specification for proposals for an alternative on 1 March 2011. The alternative system will be based on Anvis-9 night vision goggles.It will be supplied by BAE systems. The BAE system does not yet include all the features of the VSI helmet and if successful will have the remaining features incorporated. Use of the BAE system would also require a cockpit redesign.

In 2011, Lockheed granted VSI a contract to fix the vibration, jitter, night-vision and sensor display problems in their helmet-mounted display. The improved displays are expected to be delivered in third quarter of 2013.

F-35 Helmet-mounted display system [wikipedia.org]

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40561241)

The patent is for the implementation not the idea.

They're all supposed to be.

Does that mean Samsung are OK if they create their rounded corners by making square ones & then filing them down?

is not mass market consumer tech.

Since when have patents been market-sector specific?

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40562185)

Does that mean Samsung are OK if they create their rounded corners by making square ones & then filing them down?

There is a difference between a functional patent and a design one. Also the round corners was one of many points in Apple's suit. People can disagree whether Apple's design is unique enough for protection but distilling their entire case to one aspect misses the point.

Since when have patents been market-sector specific?

Patents can be use specific. That's been part of the problem of the system in the computer age where an older patent can be filed as a new function to be used on a computer and the new patent is valid.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40562087)

This just in, Apple sues government over patent infringement for allowing public to use two eyes to see.

Re:Another Best Thing Every. Amazing. (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40562215)

There is obviously a model whereby you can get a patent for anything. For the patent office to make a thorough and accurate examination of every patent application is ludicrous. They let you have pretty much any trivial patent and push the problem on to the courts. The Seventh US District Court just bitch-slapped Apple and Google over trivial patents that they already held and were using for litigation claims. The judge, a well respected legal scholar who's opinion carries a lot of weight in the legal field, said that all software patents are implicitly void (ruling with prejudice). The story is hidden behind the magnificent WSJ pay-wall, but they will let you read it coming in from Google (Google: Silly Apple Google).

apple is full of patent win (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40558769)

fuck apple

Re:apple is full of patent win (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40558817)

fuck apple

Why, because Apple found and patented a better solution long before Google could?

Apple gets far more out of their R&D budget than Google.

Get over it.

Re:apple is full of patent win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40558849)

Hey, I just applied for a patent for using THREE displays!!!

NOW THAT'S INNOVATION !!!

Re:apple is full of patent win (0, Troll)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#40558973)

Hey, I just applied for a patent for using THREE displays!!!

NOW THAT'S INNOVATION !!!

Trying different approaches that yield different pros and cons... yes, that it is exactly what innovation is. Thanks for explaining how patents actually do spur innovation, even though that was completely unintentional.

Re:apple is full of patent win (-1, Troll)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#40559915)

Downmods aren't to be used to say: "I disagree." You got a complaint about what I said? Use 'reply', instead.

Re:apple is full of patent win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40561209)

Fuck it, we're doing FIVE displays!

Re:apple is full of patent win (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40562295)

The Drosophila Melanogaster Associtation of America claims their members have been using 750 eyes now for several hundred million years and have filed claims with the US 2nd District Court to seek remedy against Apple's recent patent.

Re:apple is full of patent win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40558883)

Ahh yes it seems that their R&D budget is hell bent on greasing the palms of govt. departments... I mean filing paperwork and paying uspto fees.

I wonder if they can merge their Legals, Acquisitions and R&D department all into one, cuts out middle management overhead and means they can wipe the actual "development" aspect as it was never needed anyway.

RLA = Research, Litigate or Acquire. The development as we all know becomes mute.

Re:apple is full of patent win (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40558931)

How do you figure?

Google has working prototypes in the wild, Apple has a piece of paper.

Phone me when Apple releases vehicles that drive themselves, then talk about how much farther their R&D dollars carry them.

Different business models. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#40558967)

Apple may well have many working prototypes at this stage, but they'd never let you know it the way google does. They don't like to release details of hardware until they're ready to ship.

Re:Different business models. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#40559491)

Lately, it's more like " hey don't like to release details of hardware until they're ready to sue.". I'm still amazed at people's ability to continue to support them.

Re:Different business models. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40559633)

I can only assume you're one of the Fandroids who believe Google can do nothing wrong and in any legal battle Apple is always wrong.

Re:Different business models. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#40561433)

I suppose it would be pretty bad to sue someone over a technology they hadn't put into anything yet. It would make them no better than a patent troll. People support Apple (financially) because they like Apple products. Nothing weird about that.

Re:Different business models. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40562317)

You do realize that they filed the patent 6 years ago right? And it probably took them a long time to get the paperwork in order. So it's highly unlikely that they took anything from Google's design a few weeks ago. I'm surprised people don't look at facts.

Re:apple is full of patent win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40559331)

or maybe cause they just patented something thats been in use since the fucking 70's in the US military?

Re:apple is full of patent win (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 2 years ago | (#40559581)

yeah apple found it all right they did a google search and found this mob http://www.lumusvision.com/ [lumusvision.com] who have been doing it for 5 years then they plastered a fake google goggles ontop and tahdah you have apple innovation, and have they built anything, i doubt it, what apple has given us is 150% worthless and nothing half us haven't already thought about ourselves. It's companies like apple that are what's wrong with this world.

Re:apple is full of patent win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40559057)

the patent office is full of morons, fuck them

Different inputs for each eye you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40558785)

http://www.treknologic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/thegame.jpg

Not alone for some time now / ambilight (4, Informative)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 2 years ago | (#40558793)

They haven't been alone for some time now - that is to say, since before they even mentioned what they may or may not have been working on.

Google's glasses aren't HMDs, though.

The Rift would be an HMD that'd warrant a further look;
http://www.mtbs3d.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=138&t=14777 [mtbs3d.com]

As for Apple's patent - it's pretty much 'ambilight for HMDs'. There's a wee bit more to it, of course, but if painting with the same broad brush that Apple uses when asserting their patents, the aforementioned description fits the bill.

Re:Not alone for some time now / ambilight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40559451)

It's just one thing more in the long line of "let's patent an idea for a product, we can fill in the technical stuff later".

How do you figure? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#40560235)

Google's glasses are
Head-mounted. Check.
Displays. Check.

Ergo they are HMDs. (Or more accurately they incorporate a HMD, they also incorporate a considerable number of other unrelated technologies) The field is quite broad and covers a wide range of technologies and applications from VR helmets to augmented reality systems that project a laser-generated image directly onto your retina so that it's always in focus regardless of your current focal distance.

Re:How do you figure? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40562351)

CRTs are TVs. Check.
LCD TVs are TVs. Check.
Plasma TVs are TVs. Check.

In effect all three technologies are used to display video. Functionally they work differently. The patents on newer technologies must refer to prior patents but that doesn't mean you can't patent a different way to do the same thing.

HMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40558859)

Wow, I'm surprised nobody outside of the military had thought of a steroscopic HMD before.
This is truly non-trivial, and unprecedented.

HMD's aren't going to make it (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 2 years ago | (#40558885)

By the time any decent HMD's appear and are commoditized, or inexpensive enough for the casual consumer, truely powerful head mounted computers will be possible. Why bother designing a good HMD when you can skip this step and create the first computer built-in to a HMD that looks like nothing more than a pair of Wayfarers?

Sure they are (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#40560377)

A HMD with other tech incorporated is still a HMD, it's just not a stand-alone system. Just like an iMac is still a computer. And a monitor. You're right though, Google glasses will likely be the first consumer HMD to see any sort of success, and they're exactly that. And the computer part will only continue to get faster and cheaper while the displays evolve - why buy a standalone HMD when another $20 will get you the computer as well. You still want a well-designed HMD though, just like you want a well-designed monitor - the "smart" part is just a tacked-on accessory.

Ideally though what we'll get is awesome hi-res VR-capable "smart HMD" that has an auxiliary input, just as we now have smart TVs that still have extra inputs - because no matter how "smart" your glasses get, your stand-alone rig without comparable power, size, weight, or thermal restrictions will still be far more powerful, and why would you want to buy a separate pair of VR glasses for that when you already have a kick-ass pair of augmented-reality glasses that just need a blackout-shield or dark room to do VR?. Sure, *eventually* your glasses will be able to hold a computer more powerful than you could possibly use, but that's probably decades away yet, at least, and the first generation S-HMD's are likely to starting to hit the streets within the next few years.

Re:Sure they are (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 2 years ago | (#40562201)

Sure, *eventually* your glasses will be able to hold a computer more powerful than you could possibly use, but that's probably decades away yet

Decades away? No, a few years at most. It doesn't need to be more powerful than you can possibly use... it only needs to be as powerful as desktops were in 2002, or smartphones are today (see what I did there?)

Re:Sure they are (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#40563067)

Sure, set the bar arbitrarily low and WOW the functionality is just around the corner! 2002 seems an arbitrary limit, why not 1996? Every smartphone on the planet is far more powerful than any desktop of that era, and frankly there's very few smartphone apps that exceed the functionality or graphic capabilities of the time. We just keep finding more uses for additional power (allowing for sloppier, less efficient coding and languages being a big one)

I don't know about you, but if I had a high-resolution binocular HMD I'd want to use it for VR applications (games, 3D editing, etc) occasionally, and a 2002 desktop couldn't begin to handle that sort of pixel-pushing power. Nothing today could either.

To put things in perspective: The human eye can resolve detail at about 60 pixels per degree (and still detect "smoothness" changes of even higher resolutions) and has a field of view of ~180 degrees. That's a 10800x10800 resolution to before diminishing returns seriously kick in, or 56 HDTVs per eye (granted, you'd only really need to render the small area you were looking directly at at that resolution, but still, the pixels would need to be there). Nothing out there today could hope to render a detailed 3D environment at that resolution at a smooth framerate, and certainly nothing that would fit in a pair of glasses could. Is that an unrealistic goal for the current-gen glasses? Sure. But then I remember the days when 640k of RAM really was enough for anyone. Even when they reach just one HDTV per eye I'm betting a PS5 or XBOX 2880 will be able to render much more detailed environments at that resolution than anything built-in could do. So yeah, as long as it is technically a HMD with internal cabling to the built-in computer, I'd like to be able to switch in my own signal instead, it's not like a source-selection switch is a big expensive piece of equipment.

Re:HMD's aren't going to make it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40560931)

Kopin and Motorola Solutions are shipping an industrial HMD this October (for security guards, aircraft mechanics, and the like). See mygoldeni.com .

Futurama prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40558897)

Is this anything like the MomCorp. EyePhone?

Re:Futurama prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40559283)

Shut up and take my money!!!

Watch out Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40559033)

You better watch out Google, Apple is coming for you.

They are NOT happy with Project Glass, and will sue it out of existence.

Serves you right for innovating Google. Remember, only Apple has the right to innovate, and it is not actually innovation unless Apple does it.

Unless it has a little i at the front of the name, it is a total peice of crap that does not deserve to ever see the light of day.

Re:Watch out Google! (2)

Swampash (1131503) | about 2 years ago | (#40559187)

You think Google is innovating with the goggles?

Re:Watch out Google! (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#40561469)

A consumer affordable head mounter display catering to the things they do in their daily lives strikes me as being far more innovative than the relatively minor jump between the likes of the iPaq to the iPhone, and existing tablets that existed at least 8 years prior and the iPad at least. Siri is just Google Voice with a slightly nicer interface and integration. Even Facebook wasn't really anything of a jump from Friend's Reunited and MySpace either, and Twitter was a small step from blogging.

You can argue most things aren't innovative by finding similar examples, be they in military gear, sci-fi books, or past products, but if you look at it from a more objective point of view by considering innovation relatively, as most people do when they say someone is innovating, then as innovation goes, Google Goggles are certainly at the more innovative end of the scale, along with things like Kinect.

If you think Google Glass isn't innovative, I'd be intrigued to hear what you think is, as I can't think of anything else that's really anything of a comparatively sized jump right now except like I say, perhaps Kinect.

Re:Watch out Google! (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 2 years ago | (#40562375)

Both Google Glass and Kinect are based on well known readily available (to the specialists in the market) concepts and have been done many times before

What is new in both cases is that instead of being a very expensive system sold to large corporations or the military they are small cheap consumer targeted systems ..i.e. for the rest of us

There is nothing innovative in the iPhone, Facebook, or twitter , they just won by being the in thing and capturing a wave of popularity, there were plenty of rivals out there but they won the marketing war and got enough people to use it so that everyone else followed

Nothing to see here, move along (1)

jashsu (2646271) | about 2 years ago | (#40559071)

Apple's patent here is for a stereoscopic direct view head mount display, in other words having nothing to do with the current prototype implementation of Project Glass, which is a prism-based overlay display for a single eye. Followers on G+ also noted that the Nintendo VirtualBoy is suspiciously prior-artish.

wearable computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40559093)

at least you know apple will make something tasteful and not overly nerdy like the dorkulus bullshit google and microsoft will put out.

Retinal display? (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | about 2 years ago | (#40559105)

So how different is this from a retinal display [wikipedia.org] system? (Too lazy to read the patent application itself, which I suspect will be filled with vague descriptions and drawings that give the barest hint as to what it's all about.)

Re:Retinal display? (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 2 years ago | (#40559641)

i'm thinking retinal display is when it's projected directly onto your retina. I think apples approach will use lumus technology http://www.lumusvision.com/ [lumusvision.com] have a read they tell you all about, they have been doing it for quite a while.

You are all on notice! (1)

pro151 (2021702) | about 2 years ago | (#40559215)

I have just filed the on-line paperwork to patent farting in the key of C. I will have my attorneys Trickem, Dickem and Duckem sniffing around for any violators of my patent.

Awsome (1)

Post-O-Matron (1273882) | about 2 years ago | (#40559219)

Maybe if Apple's ludicrous patent streak will be ludicrous enough and go on for long enough it will cause lawmakers to question the current state of the patent system?

Another Winner by Apple (1)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | about 2 years ago | (#40559375)

The patent is basically this: If we provide color to the edges of the display surface outside of the main video area, users will find it appealing. No direction is provided on how to do this in the many variety of HMD types which can be a far more challengine engineering problem.

Re:Another Winner by Apple (1)

vivian (156520) | about 2 years ago | (#40561507)

If there is no actual design of how to do it, isn't this just an idea, which shouldn't be patent-able?
Otherwise I could just get a patent on a full 3d head mounted display with 120 degrees field of view and 4k pixel resolution per eye at 120fps in a form factor that looks like a cool pair of sunglasses, with full head tracking. Sure, it's what I wish existed, and I can definitely imagine it and even make pretty drawings showing the purported field of view and stylish sunglasses look, but that is a long way off from being able to actually make it, or even designing the optics to give that sort of wide field of view in a small form factor
  (Currently best you can get is 1080p and about 45 degree field of view per eye, and looks more like a star trek prop than a pair of sunglasses.)

This was to be expected... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40559391)

Apple has now patented stereovision... what's next, depth perception?

Save us, Wesley! (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 years ago | (#40559681)

Apple's solution uses two peripheral lights to show two different images to each eye 'to create an enhanced viewing experience for the user.

All I thought of when I read that was that episode of Star Trek TNG where that addictive game shows up from Risa and everyone on the ship is playing it while the Enterprise is about to be stolen out from underneath them, except Wesley and Data.

Patent office, wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40559777)

I spent hours playing DOOM on a HMD in 1996, at a trade fair (it was one of the exhibits in our stall).

I just had an idea that could save the US taxpayers hundreds of millions every year. Unmanned patent offices.

Just have a machine at the door that stamps "approved" on everything that comes in.

FU all you losers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40559853)

Patent Whoring is a legitimate revenue generator taught at some of this country's finest Institutes of Advanced How to be a Business Asshole Studies.
Thank you.

Your Apple Care Team

Gore is to Apple what Cheney was to Halliburton (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40560187)

Apple was granted a total of 22 patents today. Among those are a patent for detecting water damage and even two for playlists.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57467270-37/apple-adds-playlist-and-mobile-features-to-patent-list/

Seriously, playlists? I've used playlists since 1997 via Winamp. This is nuts.

I hate to put on the tinfoil hat, but I can't think of any other explanation than corruption as to why Apple gets every patent rubber stamped regardless of obvious prior art.

will it integrate Kopin ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40560509)

How long before either Apple or Microsoft buy Kopin? I believe Kopin has most of the US patents covering wearable screens. Check out the industrial version they're shipping with Motorola Solutions this year : http://www.mygoldeni.com

this device's biggest draw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40560703)

it might increase the number of homosexuals who notice the wearer

next steps (1)

khipu (2511498) | about 2 years ago | (#40560793)

Here are the next steps for Apple:

(1) Wait until Google Glass comes out, take it apart and learn about the technology, build a patent fence around it. Optionally, hire away a few key people from Google to help in that effort.

(2) Buy some failing startup that creates augmented reality hardware. Gussy up the failing product with some shiny, market the hell out of it, pretend Apple invented it.

(3) Start suing everybody (including Google) for violating Apple's patents and designs.

Re:next steps (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40562255)

I think this is unlikely. Apple was recently granted a patent. According to the patent itself, it was filed Oct. 13, 2006. Patents like this Apple are very specific in how it functions and it probably took some time to get it working and file the paperwork.

Google has likely started their patent paperwork already. At this point Apple simply cannot change the functionality and claim it under the same patent, and while the end result appears similar between Apple's patent and Google Glass, the functionality appears different.

Please! An Innovation Consortium! (2)

DerPflanz (525793) | about 2 years ago | (#40560917)

Please! Please start an innovation consortium and develop this technology together. Than to each his own products based on whatever vision you might have. This way, we all benefit: the companies invest in innovation and unleash all the R&D prowess they both have, technology gets developed faster for lower prices and the general public can see nice products everywhere.

And with the money you save on laywers, you can release them in all nice hip colours.

(PS there is even more advantages: the patent offices can stop wasting time on obvious developments, Apple's image gets a little better, the judicial system gets time for real criminals and patent trolls are left alone in the rain)

Re:Please! An Innovation Consortium! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40561533)

That's probably how it'd work in the land of the carebears. But companies don't want to innovate, they want _MONEY_. The more the competition gets, the less they do.

Re:Please! An Innovation Consortium! (1)

DerPflanz (525793) | about 2 years ago | (#40562535)

... and in the land of CD, DVD, BluRay. All developed by a consortium of companies. ... and in the land of open standards.

Besides, I think you can make more money in the long run by doing open innovation than closed. See also http://www.hightechcampus.com/ [hightechcampus.com] where the openness is an important part of the success.

Another Apple patent (1)

wisebabo (638845) | about 2 years ago | (#40561541)

I seem to remember another Apple patent that did something very interesting. It had most (all?) of the electronics, lasers and what not on a separate unit that presumably would be worn on the belt (or I guess hand held).

Then, it would deliver the images VIA FIBER OPTICS (I guess like an endoscope) up to the "glasses" where presumably they would be displayed. This would (presumably) keep the weight and bulkiness of the glasses down although it introduces a cable. Still since having a cable hasn't kept millions of iPod/iPhone users from their iconic white earbuds, that may not be a serious impediment to its adoption. (Would the cable be white? Would it be called "eye buds"?)

So perhaps the iPhone X will have a little fiber optic jack (combined somehow with a copper wire so audio can be delivered).. Of course there might be a warning "Do not look into optical port with remaining eye!".

I don't know if this patent complements the previous one or represents another approach.

Coming soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40561663)

The EyePhone.

George Bush? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40561783)

Spears are low-tech items for mounting heads...

And here we go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40563111)

All the Google cum dripping from everyones mouth.

This is what I don't understand (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 2 years ago | (#40563147)

So, Google has been making a push for heads-up display computing devices ( I like to call them stupidity enhancers ). Google has tonnes of money and supposedly a never ending supply of "smart" people working diligently on new ideas.

In light of how litigious Apple has become and how aggressively Apple publicly pursuing to "destroy Google", why on earth would Google allow ANY market intrusion for heads-up display devices by Apple?

I mean if I were Google I would have flooded the patent office with applications that cover almost every conceivable concept, idea, or use of a heads up display, whether projecting images on to glass, directly on the eyeball, or future-proofing their patents by using language such as "any form of display, projection, or substrate".

You know damn well that Apple never conceived of a heads up display until Google announced their Glass initiative, so if I where in charge of Google I would have gotten all my ducks in a row and filed a shitload of patents prior to the announcement to stave off copy-cat tech.

This just smacks of irresponsible management. Allowing Apple any intrusion into heads up display will cause another technology war (we are deep into World War 3 for smartphones BTW). If Google fails in this market then its solely because of a lack of adequate foresight by their chief officer's. I can't believe any executive at any of the big tech companies allowing any market penetration by Apple, especially for new emerging tech.

Yeah, it would be nice if companies could partner and innovate together to create the best possible consumer experience, that WAS the whole point of patents in the first place. Patents were invented to proliferate cooperation in innovation by having companies reveal their tech secrets allowing other companies to build off of them. The opposite of a patent is a trade secret where companies do not share their ideas. But today patents have been twisted into an arsenal of IP weapons used to stifle competition and as a consequence innovation.

So, if you are a CEO in that kind of marketplace, why on earth would you not cover your ass and patent everything to do with new technology you are trying to bring to market?

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