Apple’s upcoming AR product may have photochromic lenses thanks to another patent

Following months and even years of rumors, there looks to be confirmation of Apple’s design of Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses. A patent of the concept has been shared publicly.

Apple Glasses
AR technology is becoming increasingly important for designers. Photo: pxhere

Interesting design

Patently Apple reports on an application that the US Patent & Trademark Office has published. According to the publication, the proposed design may include an adjustable system in the head-mounted display.

This system may have an opacity layer, such as a photochromic lens. These types of lenses darken when exposed to certain types of light, often useful when being in the sun.

However, unlike traditional glasses that dim when exposed to sunlight, this product can use photochromic lenses to block light from the world around the user. This would, therefore, improve contrast in the glasses’ AR display.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook is determined for his company to lead in tech in innovation during the next decade. Photo: Austin Community College via Flickr

Connecting with the real world

Ultimately, Apple’s notes on the patent confirm that it is looking to protect an AR device that can connect with the environment.

“A head-mounted device such as a pair of augmented reality glasses that are worn on the head of a user may be used to provide a user with computer-generated content that is overlaid on top of real-world content.” The patent reads, as reported by Patently Apple.

Apple is not the first tech giant to experiment with technical eyewear. Google experimented with the Glass earlier this decade. The promotion of this device had the world excited to see what abilities it had.

However, in 2015, Google announced that it would stop selling the original Glass. This was less than a year after sales of the product were opened up to the public. In May of this year, Google announced the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2, which may further the company’s hold within this market.

Google Glass
Google Glass paved the way for mainstream companies to experiment with eyewear. Photo: Tim.Reckmann via Wikimedia Commons

Hot topic

Another technology powerhouse is also planning to grab a piece of the pie. Tech Radar reports on a similar concept being patented by Samsung. According to the patent, these AR glasses will have individual projection screens on each lens, along with two cameras. The application also indicates that there may be a small speaker placed within the product.

It looks like the next decade will see healthy competition between some of the industry’s finest when it comes to AR. This decade saw both VR and AR technology emerge in the lives of many consumers. Now, it looks like manufacturers are finding ways to adapt the science to more daily aspects.

Macworld reports that a 2020 release date for Apple’s glasses is highly likely. Meaning that we may not have to wait so long to hear further announcements on the project.

What do you think of the concept of Apple’s augmented reality glasses? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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