A recently surfaced patent from Apple subsidiary Metaio shows AR being used in a hybrid approach that includes interaction between a pair of smart glasses and a phone, adding to the buzz that Apple is developing an AR headset.
The idea behind the patent, which was filed in April 2017 with a history dating back to 2013, seems to be that headset wearers use their smartphone to interact with images seen in the glasses.
Below is an image included with the patent, showing a user looking at ‘points of interest’ through the semi-transparent display of an augmented reality headset.
According to the patent: “The mobile device may perform an action related to at least one point of interest if at least part of the computer-generated virtual object blended in on the semi-transparent screen is overlapped by a user’s finger or device held by the user.”
As usual with patents, the wording is somewhat confusing and vague, but the concept does seem to jibe with other recent reports about Apple’s AR aspirations.
In March, Bloomberg reported that Apple’s AR features would debut first through the iPhone (courtesy of ARKit), and subsequently through a set of glasses and that same month Financial Times also reported on the development of an AR headset.
What’s more, Metaio, acquired in May 2015 by the Cupertino-based tech giant, has had a number of its patents assigned to Apple, including one covering AR use for interior design.