Apple published a ton of patents over the years and usually it’s not a good idea to speculate on them, since some of these will actually remain ideas. However, one of them is particularly interesting, because it shows that Apple is ready to take Google on in the futuristic glasses area. As you know, people have been talking a lot about the Google Project Glass and the sci-fi glasses that officials were wearing at I/O 2012.
Now Apple has a patent granted this week entitled “peripheral treatment for head mounted display”, focused on projecting an image onto the eyes using a viewable display. That’s pretty much what the Google Project Glass is doing, if you ask me. The patent claims that “a first display will project an image viewable by the first eye of the user and a peripheral light element will be able to emit light of one or more colors in close proximity to the periphery of the first display”.
In translation, there will be one or maybe two LCDs that will be used to project an image onto the users’ eyes. The result will be a “screen floating out”, at least in appearance. The whole system is focused on peripheral vision and the direct vision of the user coupled with some LCD displays. In Apple’s case the system may be more immersive and not quite created for augmented reality or walking on the street. Head mounted displays have been a technological dream for a while now, but will they reach product phase this year?