By this point it is hardly a secret that Apple is very interested in augmented reality (AR) technology, with Apple CEO Tim Cook publically stating his support for the technology, and of course having created ARKit. As an extension of this, Apple have submitted a European Patent filing for an AR windshield.
The patent covers a potential AR technology that allows for an overlay across the screen in a way often referred to as a Heads-Up Display or HUD. The patent is reportedly very detailed, and appears to be designed to work with an autonomous vehicle.
As reported by Patently Apple, the patent filing described how the technology could be used to allow the occupants of an autonomous vehicle could use the AR overlay to make FaceTime video calls to another vehicle.
The patent filing presents a vehicle with a transparent surface which provides an AR display, including spatially positioned representation of a speed of the vehicle relative to a local speed limit. An example included shows a driver looking through an AR windshield to see what speed they are going alongside the local speed limit, so the driver can check if they are travelling at a lawful speed.
IN addition, the AR display is designed to always follow the road, so the driver’s AR screen elements remain properly centered to the road ahead of the driver.
With regards to the use of FaceTime video calling, the patent specifically notes: “In some embodiments, an augmented reality display system included in a vehicle enables visual communication between an occupant of the vehicle and a remotely located user, including an occupant of a separate vehicle.”
As with any patents, it is unknown if this is a product that apple are actively working on, or if it is simply a theoretical product of research and development. However, it should be noted that Apple have been confirmed to be working with car maker Volkswagon on an autonomous vehicle.
For future coverage of developments in AR and VR technology, keep checking back with VRFocus.