Apple’s smart glasses have only recently had a handful of exciting patents this week, yet one more has just come out, and it’s probably the most interesting we’ve seen so far.
The patent in question alludes to the use of eye-tracking, something already coming to the soon-to-be-released Apple Vision Pro. This is a really smart bit of tech. The abstract for the patent describes the function in more detail: “Light sources emit light beams towards the eye. A portion of the light beams are reflected by the surface of the eye towards the input coupler located in front of the eye.” Your eyes are hit with light from the glasses, and it uses the reflection to match the position of your eye.
With this, you could control apps through a mixture of sight and hand tracking. The smart glasses could also learn from the PSVR2, which uses eye tracking for a system called ‘Foveated Rendering.’ This essentially only fully renders what you’re viewing, blurring the rest of the screen to get more out of the processing power of the device.
The Vision Pro’s best feature — iMore’s take
Eye tracking is a particularly interesting feature for an AR device like smart glasses, which use a mixture of reality and digital components. Eye tracking can be used to figure out if you are looking at the UI or objects just past it and can, therefore, offer a much smoother experience. Apple’s smart glasses could offer the SE experience of the Apple Vision Pro, with some stripped-back features at a cheaper price point but still impressive in its own right.
Smart glasses, up until now, have felt a little gimmicky, just because they’ve been very hard to pull off. We liked the RayNeo Air 2 late last year, but Google’s own attempt at smart glasses was taken off the market just a few months before that. If all the recent patents are anything to go off, Apple’s smart glasses may just be the push AR glasses need to work in the mainstream.
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