Apple Patents Augmented Reality Displays

As Apple Insider reports today, the US patent office just published two interesting patent fillings by Apple in January of last year.

The first, titled “Synchronized, interactive augmented reality displays for multifunction devices” is a very broad term patent and discuss methods to identify object, display an information layer on top of a live video feed and share that layer between users.
The second, and surely much more exciting is simply titled “Transparent electronic devices” and concerns “A method and system for displaying images on a transparent display of an electronic device … the display screens may allow for overlaying of images over real world viewable objects”

. Or in other words – transparent iPads are coming!!!11221!. Seriously though here’s quoting again from the patent:

These overlays whether in handheld or other electronic devices 10, may provide an “augmented reality” interface in which the overlays virtually interact with real-world objects. For example, the overlays may be transmitted onto a display screen that overlays a museum exhibit, such as a painting. The overlay may include information relating to the painting that may be useful or interesting to viewers of the exhibit. Additionally, overlays may be utilized on displays in front of, for example, landmarks, historic sites, or other scenic locations. The overlays may again provide information relating to real-world objects as they are being viewed by a user. These overlays may additionally be utilized on, for example, vehicles utilized by tourists. For example, a tour bus may include one or more displays as windows for users. These displays may present overlays that impart information about locations viewable from the bus

Interesting stuff, don’t you think?
More information at Apple Insider.

6 Responses

  1. Great, Apple just patented AR.

    Reason #1,238,745 why software & method patents need to go.

  2. *prays Apple doesn’t mess up innovation in the AR space*

  3. Surely January 6, 2010, is rather late in the day to be trying to patent something like this? There is loads of prior art.

  4. If no company contends that there is prior art Apple will get the patent. If you know of any companies that can contest this patent. Let them know so they can contact the Trademark & Patent office before this is issued to Apple. Otherwise this patent could essentially put them out of business.

  5. Indeed huge amounts of prior art.
    Vuzix I guess is a recent obvious one with its STAR glass’s, and possibly some of its military ones too.
    What baffles me even more though is these patents are just wish-list specs for what they want it to do, so how is it even better then, say, any of the dozens of sci-fis that have showen the concept over the years? Or all the concept-design displays? Surely unless apple has a physical working product those should also count as prior art ?

    Sadly I have little faith in the patent office – they also granted Apple patents over multitouch gestures. Despite the fact that very clearly stuff like Microsoft surface (and others) were using them for a long time before the iPhone.

    The problem I think is, as far as the patent office is concerned, using prior art in a marginaly different form factor counts as an “invention”.

  6. Also, has to be pointed out, that that enclosed diagram is mind-blowingly generic and doesnt really say anything much about the patent :p
    Probably dilberate filler to make their application look more techy.

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