On June 3rd, US Pacific Time, the Apple WWDC 2019 Developers Conference was held at the MacNeeri Convention Center in San Jose.
In addition to the latest versions of tvOS, watchOS 6, iOS 13, and iPadOS, Apple also released development tools such as ARKit 3 and Reality Kit. Although there are a lot of dry goods in this WWDC conference, it still makes people feel lost: the rumored Apple AR glasses have been delayed.
Apple has always been known for its strict confidentiality mechanism. Here, regardless of the specific progress of the project of Apple AR glasses, Lei Feng.com learned that a patent of Apple that used AR technology to prevent voyeurism was exposed. The patent can be used to hide secret documents in business occasions and prevent information. vent.
Latest patent exposure: prevent voyeurism
According to information disclosed in public, Apple's new augmented reality program is mainly focused on ARKit software, but with the confirmation of patents and reliable reports, Apple has been studying mixed reality hardware. While the exposed patent documents are only a few details, other information is compelling and unusual, including a new application for business occasions via Patently Apple: let the glasses wearer see the real version of the secret files and input devices as planned. External observers can only see false information.
This patent describes that when people look at the screen and sit and type with the keyboard and the touch screen, for external observers, the screen may display an image of a "virtual document" or screen saver, and the person wearing the glasses will See the enhanced image of the actual document in the same location. Similarly, the keyboard surface can cover the virtual button label to prevent people from knowing what is actually typed on the physical button or touch screen button; the button on the touch screen may be invisible to someone other than the lens wearer.
In general, in the office, despite the closeness of colleagues, the concept of blurred screens and keyboards will enable people working in the same office environment to view private documents, but such confidentiality may be a privacy issue for Apple. The supreme company is useful. Although confidential documents are not mentioned in the application, the confidential documents can be placed in a digital lock box that can only be used for AR/VR viewing, rather than being distributed on paper or more widely visible numbers.
Even so, one can imagine that such a system is useful for companies that focus on employee espionage. Earlier this year, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation accused Apple employee Jizhong Chen of intercepting images of confidential documents from laptop screens, jeopardizing the confidentiality of Apple's long-developed autonomous vehicles.
As of March 2019, Apple successfully applied for a patent for a head-mounted display, the essence of which is to enhance the physical keyboard or touch keyboard, and the confidential file part is an extension of the patent. While the clearest application of this technology will be in the workplace, it can also be used to view private documents at home.
ARKit has been updated to the third generation, AR hardware is still late
In recent years, Apple has continued to carry out related layouts around the AR product line. In addition to the outflow of AR patent information from time to time, there are also related rumors of products that attract the attention of industry professionals from time to time.
In November 2016, according to the Apple AR Helmet patent message issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office, it describes a helmet-type display device that retains the screen of a mobile electronic device. The helmet-type screen system and the operation scheme can allow the user to "pair" or "release". Portable electronic device.
In November 2017, according to Patently Apple, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published 44 new patents issued to Apple. One of the patents describes the technology for AR 3D content construction and presentation.
In April 2018, foreign media reported that, according to informed sources, Apple is developing a headset that integrates the AR/VR experience. It will connect to a dedicated box through short-range wireless technology, and the single-eye display reaches 8K. The device code is “T288”. The equipment will be shipped in 2020.
In August 2018, Apple confirmed the acquisition of AR lens startup Akonia Holographics, which specializes in the manufacture of AR spectacle lenses and has more than 200 patents on holographic systems and materials. Akonia says its display technology allows "thin, transparent smart eyeglass lenses to display vivid, full-color, wide-view images."
In September 2018, Patently Apple discovered another new patent in Apple, which is closely related to the legendary Apple glasses. The patented headset not only supports Apple's main AR, but also supports VR and holographic content. display. The patent details Apple's optical waveguide solution. Compared to Magic Leap's two-layer optical waveguide solution, Apple can display nearly three layers of image planes in the far and wide.
According to Lei Feng.com, the display system may have one or more pixel arrays, such as a liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) pixel array. Images from the display system may be coupled to one or more optical waveguides through a coupler system, although it is also possible to couple the optical waveguides in multiple image planes with an output coupler system.
Input and output coupler systems may be equipped with single couplers, coupler stacks, and tiled array couplers. These couplers may be thin planar volume holograms or other optical couplers that couple light into or couple to the upper and lower surfaces of the extended ribbon waveguide.
Image signals like wavelength, polarization, time division, and angular multiplexing have different angular orientation ranges, and lens tunable techniques can also be used to present images on multiple image planes to the user.
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In recent years, Apple's emphasis on AR has only increased. In addition to the related research and development of AR technology, its AR development platform ARKit has been upgraded to ARKit 3 at the recent WWDC 2019 conference since its launch in 2017. .