Apple Glass, Apple’s forthcoming AR glasses project, could at some point beam a picture directly onto your eyeballs.
That’s the vaguely horrifying point to emerge from a recent patent application that was spotted by AppleInsider.
Apple is looking to bypass the need for glass lenses altogether, judging from a recently granted US patent for a “Direct retinal projector”, instead using mirrors to beam content into your eyes.
Apple’s suggested system would include a “gaze tracking system” that tracks the position of a wearer’s pupil and “automatically adjusts projection of a scanned light field so that the light field enters the pupil”.
It appears Apple is seeking to pursue such an elaborate system as a way of bypassing some of the nausea and eye-strain issues certain people have with traditional AR and VR headsets. In the background section of the patent application, Apple makes mention of “Accommodation-convergence mismatch”, which confuses the brain of a user by presenting a close-up image that creates the illusion of depth.
By removing that physical element from right in front of your eyes, Apple hopes to get around this fundamental disconnect. It would also, of course, make the resulting headset much lighter and less bulky.
Given that the whole point of this upcoming generation of AR goggles is to be able to wear them all day, this is more than a matter of mere discomfort. It could be vital to the success of an entire product category.