According to AppleInsider, the tech behemoth recently applied for a patent detailing "audio-based feedback for [a] head-mountable device,” suggesting Apple is working on technology for its AR glasses which could see them capable of detecting far-away sounds and informing the wearer of their location.
While the document itself doesn’t go into details regarding the purpose of such functionality, it seems that Apple Glass might be able to notify the wearer of sounds beyond their own field of hearing. So, in theory, they could direct you to the origin of a sound you usually wouldn’t be able to hear.
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A previous patent application had suggested the glasses may offer realistic sound effects to complement digitally-created imagery, in what sounds like a form of 3D audio, and these latest applications suggest Apple is doubling-down on the audio capabilities of its upcoming AR wearables.
Not quite windscreen wipers
A further patent submitted by Apple indicates the glasses might come with an even more futuristic feature – self-cleaning glass (or “opticals”, as Apple puts it).
Titled "Particle Control for Head-Mountable Device," the patent hints at a device that could automatically clear dust and other foreign objects from what Apple refers to as "optical modules.”
Any bespectacled person knows that, over time, glasses succumb to the general wear and tear of life, whether through discolouration or the erosion of actual components, so AR wearables that could potentially resist the elements would be a welcome step into the future.
Again, details are scarce on how exactly Apple Glass would do this, but the patent does hint at a device which could employ vibrations to independently remove dust and dirt – which seems logical, we guess.
There’s also been a host of other patent applications and rumours swirling around regarding Apple Glass in recent months – from LiDar sensors to microchips – so we’ve put together a handy round-up of everything we know about the AR wearables so far.
As for when we expect them to arrive? The jury is out, but our best guess is sometime in the next year.
- Apple Glass could land in early 2022 with LiDAR tracking
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.