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Apple’s VR and AR headsets are to have eye tracking system to monitor user gaze

Apr 26, 2018, 1:00 pm

Apple’s AR headset is going to have a system of mirrors and cameras to ‘work out’ the gaze direction of the user on virtual environments. The Apple eye tracking system can be found on other devices but is yet to make it to the AR and VR headsets.

Given the patent granted by USPTO today, April 26, Apple could just be the pioneers in bringing the technology to these AR and VR types of equipment. The patent application for the system describes a method of monitoring the sight of the user when they look through a display close to eyes, such as these headsets.

The system basically relies on a camera and an IR emitter directed towards the face of the user, or a mirror in a 90-degree angle. Some extra space is required in front of the user for the system to be effective enough. The compact and component-filled headsets do not `give the chance.

This is where Apple’s works come in, where the entire setup will be mounted at the sides of the device instead of being in front of the user’s eyes. The components of the setup will be aimed in front of a ‘hot mirror’ (a type of dielectric mirror) to “reflect infrared light while allowing visible light to pass through.”

The viewing experience will get “a more realistic depth of field effect” for the users when the AR and VR headsets receive the eye-tracking component. Now, Apple has been facing challenges in display technology and hardware placement for the system to be realized.

Considering that, the company is yet to come up with a VR or AR hardware. Although, numerous patents have been filed in the USPTO that are related to the field of AR and VR. Also, reports of an Apple-produced headset are circulating since long now. Some reports suggest that AR-equipped smart glasses may arrive in the markets in 2020.

The patent application for the Eye Tracking System was filed on October 19, 2017. The inventors listed are Kathrin Berkner-Cieslicki, Ricardo J. Motta, Se Hoon Lim, Minwoog Kim, Kenichi Saito, Branko Petljanski, Jason C. Sauers and Yoshikazu Shinohara.

Stay with us to remain updated on Apple’s doing for the AR and VR related types of equipment.

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