A new patent released by Apple suggests that the company is working on some kind of holographic technology to replace the notches of its AR and VR glasses that could be launched in 2020.
Apple says traditional display-based implementations are not optimal on glasses. The concern of the firm stems from the use of lenses or a small screen. The modifications to the optical components necessary to guarantee high quality would lead to a sharp increase in the size and price of glasses.
Another problem concerns the display itself, because its position away from the face forces the other components and the housing to be positioned farther from the user, causing more pressure on the face. If the screen can be placed closer and using fewer components, it would be more comfortable to wear.
However, by removing the notches and changing the way images are projected, Apple offers a “Waveguide system for transferring light from an optical system to the eyes of the user”. This would allow Apple to completely replace the screens.
To manage the waveguide, input and output couplers can be used, with the input redirecting the light from the display unit into the waveguide, while the output pushes the light into the direction of it. These generated images could be formed by holographic optical elements, including thin holograms, volume holograms and surface relief grids.
These are very advanced technologies, but confirm once again that Apple is working seriously on its AR / VR glasses (and / or headphones).