Apple is researching a number of kinds of 3D floor-mapping programs that would combine with a head-mounted gadget like a digital actuality headset or “Apple Glass.”
In a trio of patent functions printed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace on Thursday, Apple particulars varied strategies for producing three-dimensional representations of bodily environments utilizing sensor knowledge.
All three patents share the identical title, “Floorplan Era based mostly on Room Scanning,” however their actual particulars differ. For instance, one patent lays out a system that would get hold of 3D knowledge based mostly on depth-mapping and light-weight depth picture knowledge utilizing a scanning course of, whereas one other provides that any such knowledge will be obtained by means of a stay digicam feed.
It seems that the particular floor-mapping objectives are barely totally different, too. One of many patents particulars how this knowledge can determine floor-to-ceiling partitions in a bodily atmosphere based mostly on 2D semantic knowledge, whereas the second and third patent focuses on corners and small partitions.
The purpose of acquiring and parsing this atmosphere knowledge could be to supply correct and environment friendly measurements or floorpans utilizing a cellular gadget. At current, Apple notes, current methods do not enable for good ground plan technology from cellular gadgets.
Apple notes that this floor-mapping knowledge will be offered to a consumer by means of a particular gadget like an iPhone, iPad, or one thing that they put on on their head.
“The system move of the instance atmosphere 400 will be displayed on a tool (e.g., gadget 120 of FIGS. 1 and three) that has a display screen for displaying pictures and/or a display screen for viewing stereoscopic pictures reminiscent of a head-mounted show (HMD),” says a sentence included in all three patents.
The patents notice that 3D representations of a bodily atmosphere may very well be generated by sensor knowledge, reminiscent of picture or depth sensor data. That is the kind of knowledge trendy iPhones are geared up to gather. Presumably, an Apple head-mounted gadget could be as nicely.
“In some implementations, a floorplan features a 2D top-down view of a room. A floorplan could graphically depict a boundary of a room, e.g., by graphically depicting partitions, obstacles, or different limitations of the extent of a room, utilizing traces or different graphical options,” the patent reads.
“A floorplan could graphically depict the places and geometries of wall options reminiscent of wall edges, doorways, and home windows.”
The patents title Feng Tang, Afshin Dehghan, Kai Kang, Yang Yang, Yikang Liao, and Guangyu Zhao as their inventors. Amongst them, Feng Tang has labored on Face ID programs for Apple, which additionally pertains to utilizing sensors to generate 3D fashions.
Apple has filed patent functions associated to indoor ground mapping prior to now, together with to be used circumstances particularly associated to digital or augmented actuality. In 2020, it utilized for a patent detailing a system that would stop customers from bumping into partitions or furnishings when utilizing an Apple VR gadget.
The Cupertino tech large is considered engaged on a number of head-mounted gadgets, together with a mixed-reality visor that would immerse a consumer in a digital or partially digital atmosphere and a lighter pair of glasses that will overlay digital data onto the bodily world.
Apple information for quite a few patents on a weekly foundation, so they are a poor indicator of the corporate’s present plans or the time to marketplace for new options or gadgets.