Apple filed the matching patent application in October 2017, which the USPTO now positive. The inventors include Kathrin Berkner-Cieslicki and Ricardo J. Motta, as well as others.
Apple Plans Eye Tracking System
The company describes an eye tracking system in a head-mounted Screen (Head-Mounted Display, HMD for short) is active. In the HMD, a virtual image is output via at least one display. Between the display and the eye of the user are also optical lenses attached. The description is therefore reminiscent of headsets for using augmented or virtual reality applications.
Apple’s “Eye Tracking System” uses a collection of cameras and mirrors to catch the eye of the wearer
Accessories to the side of the eye
In conventional systems, infrared emitters, mirrors and chips are used. However, they are placed in front of the user’s eye. But there is no room for it in compact headsets, such as the PlayStation VR or HTC Vive and others.
Apple’s solution is to attach appropriate components to the side of the user’s eye to enable a more compact design.
Operation by View
The consequence of an eye-tracking system is always the possibility of realizing user guidance in the form. There have been systems for many years that track the user’s gaze completely without a headset and allow input. A well-known example is the late scientist Stephen Hawking, who in the end only used his eyes as an ALS patient to control a computer.
We had already speculated that Apple would not be able to introduce an AR headset during WWDC 2018 in June. The accessory would certainly benefit from a patent like this.