Apple Glasses could offer ‘predictive, foveated VR’

Apple has been granted yet another U.S. patent (number 10,739,599) for what we commonly call “Apple Glasses,” the company’s expected augmented reality/mixed reality head-mounted display. This one is patents a “predictive, foveated virtual reality system.”

"Apple Glasses" designed by Martin Hajek for iDrop News
“Apple Glasses” concept designed by Martin Hajek for iDrop News

Dennis Sellers for Apple World Today:

The system could include one or more sensors or other mechanisms, such as gaze tracking modules or accelerometers, to detect or track motion. A predictive, foveated virtual reality system could also predict, based on a user’s head and eye motion, the user’s future line of sight and could capture image data corresponding to that predicted line of sight. When the user subsequently looks in that direction the system may display the previously captured (and augmented) view…

Conventional virtual reality and augmented reality systems may involve significant lag times between the time a user looks in a particular direction and the time that the system is able to display the corresponding scene to the user. Additionally, the amount of image data required to be captured, generated and/or displayed to the user of a conventional virtual reality system may be so large as to affect the performance of the system (e.g., increased latency) and to increase the cost and/or size of the system.

Apple thinks a predictive, foveated virtual reality system would solve some of these issues.

MacDailyNews Take: “Apple Glasses. They’re foveated!” And your stomach will thank you profusely*. “Apple Glasses Series 2. Now with Retina Foveation™!”

*Many current “non-foveated” AR/VR systems suffer from latency problems that are well known to cause eyestrain with resultant headaches and nausea.


  1. What does “foveate” even mean in this context? The fovea is the center of the retina where receptors are densest, i.e., the highest resolution part of the retina. When you look at something, its image falls on the fovea. So, does foveate mean that images will be centered in your field of view regardless of how you move your eyes? Or does it mean the resolution of the image will vary, being higher in the center and lower toward the edges? Or both?

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