Apple’s patent application envisions a user being able to replace the background
The patent application explains that “The system achieves mixed reality by having a user look at a display through wide angle lenses (with a field-of-view of 110 degrees or more). Two cameras located behind the HMD display capture the environment from viewpoints located a few centimeters in front of each eye.”
If you don’t mind the patent jargon, Apple says, “While chroma keying is usually a post-production effect or done live with dedicated equipment/software, it can be applied in the context of augmented reality (AR) headsets, also referred to as mixed reality (MR), where virtual elements are composited in real-time into the real-world environment seen by the user through the head-mounted display. One example is a crane simulator where the controls would be real objects and where a color screen would be replaced by a virtual crane and a virtual environment. Another example would be a social MR experience using a color screen which covers the whole field of view and only the user’s hands and/or body are not replaced by virtual content (unless their color is the same as the screen). This example application is sometimes classified as virtual reality (VR) but for simplicity we here consider it as augmented reality (AR).”
As with any patent application filed by the company, or even with a patent received by the tech giant, there is no guarantee that Apple will actually use the patented technology. Apple applies for and receives a large number of patents each year and while some are for innovative technologies actually employed by the firm, some ideas are just patented to protect Apple from the competition.
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