The Apple Vision Pro headset is potentially just weeks from launching, if the latest rumors are to be believed, but a few new details about the external display may have been leaked via an Apple patent.
According to the document (first reported on by Patently Apple) the headset’s external display won’t just be able to enable EyeSight – which shows onlookers the wearer’s eyes in a kinda creepy way – but will also be able to display a much wider array of images.
So far Apple has only shown the Vision Pro’s external screen displaying two things: the wearer’s eyes when they’re in mixed reality, and a colorful pattern when they’re fully immersed in virtual reality. But using the display to show a wider mix of icons makes a lot of sense, and would be useful.
A flashing “do not disturb” sign, for example, could alert people around you that you’re in an important virtual meeting or trying to focus on something, while displaying a virtual scene on the external display would give people around you an idea of what you’re looking at.
The patent also reveals alternatives to Apple’s realistic EyeSight feature. Rather than showing a photorealistic image, the wearer’s eyes could be shown as digital dots and lines, in the style of an expressive robot – still a little creepy-looking, but maybe not so weird in practice.
Other examples in the patent document, like the clock or current weather conditions, aren’t super-helpful while you’re wearing the headset but could be handy when you aren’t. While the Vision Pro is charging on your desk the external display could be set to show you useful info like what’s on your calendar for the day, or simply what charge the headset is at.
As with all tech patents, there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever see these features in action, and even if they are on their way to the Vision Pro, they might not be ready at launch or for a while after. Until the headset is in people’s hands we won’t know what it is or isn’t capable of.
However, if Apple is indeed close to launching the headset, it shouldn’t be too long before all of our Vision Pro questions are finally answered.
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