Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Apple Invents an Optical System for a Future VR and AR Headset

Apple Optical System

Apple’s concocting a New Optical System for VR and AR Headsets

Looks like the Cupertino based company, is planning something for their VR and AR headsets. Recently there was news of a patent being published in which Apple seems to be cooking up a new optical system design for their VR and AR headsets and if this news is to be believed, then Apple may be coming up with a lighter and more comfortable VR or AR headset.

This new patent is all about bringing down the weight in using an AR or VR headset. It’s not certain as of now when products bearing this patented tech will be released, it could be months or years or maybe not ever, only time will tell and of course Apple will when they are ready. It’s no surprise that the company has ambitions to deliver a new VR or AR headset in the future but will this new AR or VR headset bear this new optical system or not is the question.

What is the optical system patent actually about? 

Recently the United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published a patent in which Apple has come up with a new optical system that is aimed at making AR or VR headsets much more comfortable and lighter to use. Although the end product maybe years away from the production line, it still helps to know what Apple is up to at the moment.

Microsoft’s HoloLens and Facebook’s Oculus VR Rift Headsets all share something in common besides that they are meant for VR, they can be heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Long hours wearing such a device on the head can become tiring and cumbersome to wear. Apple has even called some of the headsets out there having optical systems that are bulky and not that comfortable to wear.
What is Apple’s new Optical System About?

The published patent details an optical system in which Apple has come out with a new technique/ optical system known as the Catadioptric system. This optical system is not all together new, it has been used as a basis in optical telescopes, telephoto lenses and microscopes. But it is the first time that such an optical system will be thought of for AR or VR headsets.

The catadioptric System is an optical system that uses a combination of curved mirrors and lenses to create a mix of refraction and reflection that does away with magnifying lenses which are used to make visual content larger in the standard optical systems used in AR or VR headsets and that is the primary reason why standard headsets bearing this type of magnifying lens is heavy and cumbersome to use.

With this optical system in mind, Apple can not only reduce the weight of its AR or VR headsets but also slim down the size of the Headsets too.

Until now it is not clear whether and if Apple will ever come to use this optical system in their VR or AR headsets. Right now Apple is playing a waiting game to see how the market will play out and whether VR headsets are here for the long haul or not.

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