Apple Reinvents Eye-Tracking for Cheaper and More Efficient AR Glasses

A recent patent discloses interesting information about the new glasses.
Fabienne Lang

The world of virtual reality and augmented reality keeps growing, and a company like Apple isn't known for sitting around and letting others take the lead. 

A recent patent discloses new information about the tech giant's future addition, its Apple Glasses. The patent application outlines information about how you could control the glasses with visual input, per 9to5Mac.

Rumors around Apple's AR glasses have been circulating since early 2019, and it looks like they may be joining other products as early as 2022, per MacRumors' Ming Chi Kuo, who is known for sharing accurate information about the company. 


New eye-tracking technology

To keep costs as low as possible and batteries lasting longer, Apple is seemingly developing an entirely new eye-tracking system for its upcoming Apple AR Glasses

The aim is for the glasses to be able to track where your eyes are looking even when your head is stationary. For instance, if you're using the glasses while reading a book, the glasses would be able to tell when you've reached the end of the page without you dramatically moving your head downwards

Apple's newly-released patent application for the eye-tracking technology sheds light on the company's plans for setting up its long-awaited AR glasses. 

Per the patent, the Apple Glasses should be able to be controlled through eye movements, blinks, and stares. You may also be able to control the device thanks to "touch-sensitive surface(s) for receiving user inputs, such as tap inputs and swipe inputs," as well as Siri. 

It appears that the new technology could be used with any camera-clad device, as well as AR devices.

It seems that light will play a big part in how this new technology functions. As per the patent, Apple states that "The method includes receiving light intensity data indicative of an intensity of the emitted light reflected by the eye of the user in the form of a plurality of glints."

"The method includes determining an eye-tracking characteristic of the user based on the light intensity data," it reads. So, a bit of light will most likely be shined onto the user's eyes, but you'll have to wait and see until the new tech is released to find out. 

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