There aren’t many new products to gather the attention and hype that the Apple Glasses AR/VR headset has managed to accumulate in the past few months. Apple’s rumored wearable often occupies headlines and leaks about its features are flying left and right.
The latest Apple Glasses rumored feature could benefit people with prescription glasses. According to a new patent, granted to Apple on Thursday, the new Apple Glasses might feature a system of lenses that adjust to match the user’s prescription.
The patent in question is titled “Tunable and foveated lens systems,” and describes a clever system of lenses that can be manipulated to act as a regular pair of glasses. The difference is that the system adjusts the position of the lenses automatically, and any person – with or without prescription glasses – could use it without any problems.
This can be achieved by using a stack of liquid crystal lenses – the liquid material inside can change its optical properties when a current passes through it. Apple says in the patent documents that such a system can also help people with various vision problems, such as presbyopia (inability to focus at a certain distance).
The clever system manages to circumvent one big obstacle that lies before smart glasses technology – users with regular prescription glasses. Using another pair of smart glasses on top of your prescription glasses is far from comfortable, and manufacturers normally would have to offer different models with different dioptric parameters to suit every consumer out there. Using this futuristic adjustable lens system could not only make smart glasses much more comfortable and approachable but help advance vision-correction technology.
Bear in mind, though, that Apple (and every other big tech company) files for hundreds of patents every year. Seeing this cool feature on paper doesn’t mean that the actual product will have it onboard. Let’s quickly browse through all Apple Glasses patents that we’ve unearthed so far. One of the latest and most futuristic patents so far was the “Direct retinal projector.” As the name suggests, Apple is looking for ways to project the image directly onto the user’s retina.
Another cool patent from last year describes Apple Glasses adjusting to ambient lighting, decreasing the ambient light in order to boost the brightness of the projected image. Much less high-tech was the patent filing describing how Apple Glasses could be used to unlock other gadgets nearby – most wearable devices already have such functionality.
The rumored self-cleaning feature of the Apple Glasses is far more interesting. The patent involved describes a way to “shake” the device free of dust using vibration.
Finally, another patent filing showed how Apple Glass might detect sound and direct you to its origin. That might turn out to be a very useful feature for a device you wear on your head and look (kinda) through it.
- Plastic or metal frames
- Two 8K resolution displays
- 120Hz refresh rate
- Wi-Fi 6E connectivity
- LiDAR in the frame
- Gesture and voice controls
- UI called Starboard
- Adjustable lenses
- Price: $499
- Release date: 2025
A major Apple Glass leak revealed a $499 price, and also suggested an announcement date sometime in Q3/Q4 2021, which is clearly not happening. According to tech analyst and insider Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple Glasses won’t be ready until 2025.