The U.S Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application received from Samsung for Augmented Reality (AR) glasses earlier in May 2020. The Samsung AR glasses are designed to assist drivers in road navigation and will work in sync with a map app.
Now, this idea has always been there but attracts extra interest in this case. This is because Apple seems to be working on something very similar to its future glasses device.
Samsung’s future AR glasses will use a camera on the glasses to assist drivers in reading the road. It will also provide them with realtime directions.
The AR glasses may also be controlled by the vehicle which have embedded AR support built in them.
Samsung notes in their filing that “a user may observe the virtual image when the particular position is placed within a field of view of the user that is viewable by using the optical coupler.
For example, an actual image may be an image of an actual road, and a virtual image may be an image of a direction indicator.” In a second example, Samsung notes that “an actual image may be an image of an actual gas station, and a virtual image may include an image of oil prices.”
Samsung explains the working of the AR glasses in its patent application. According to it, the user (driver in this case) will see the virtual image of a direction indicator when the actual image will be of the actual road. The augmented reality technology in the glasses is designed to aid the driver to change lanes, exit freeways, and reach his destination as smoothly as possible.
Samsung AR glasses can also provide additional information. For example, when you are actually viewing a gas station, the virtual image may display an image of the oil prices. Samsung has provided the AR glasses with a built-in image generator which is interfaced with the glass display.
According to the patent there are two cameras feeding into the AR glasses. The external camera is there to pick up the image of actual objects which could be roads, buildings, a direction sign, or a billboard. The internal camera placed within the vehicle is for picking up the gestures of the driver. These gestures may be used to send particular instructions to the system.
Although it’s a Samsung patent, it’s clear that Apple having a turn-by-turn Maps app will likely adopt this for their future AR glasses, as it’s a natural AR application.
It’s highly likely that Apple will adopt Samsung’s patent for its future AR glasses. The application of the AR glasses in combination with a turn-by-turn Maps app is a very logical one.