Apple patent raises possibility of a future with iWindshields - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Apple patent raises possibility of a future with iWindshields

The patent application would represent a significant upgrade on current navigation techniques. (Source: Pixabay) The patent application would represent a significant upgrade on current navigation techniques. (Source: Pixabay)

(RNN) – Could the next great Apple innovation be the iWindshield?

The World Intellectual Property Organization, a patent agency for the United Nations, published an application last week that was submitted by Apple in 2016 for an “augmented reality display system” for vehicles.

The system would essentially be an interface layered over a windshield, displaying things such as speed or a route. The patent filing also describes the system being able to identify or interact with “environmental objects” such as a sign or other cars.

Such a windshield interface is typically called a “heads up display.” Some rudimentary versions that project information onto a windshield have already been produced.

Apple’s patent, however, describes a fully integrated "smart" windshield, which could even “enable video communication with a remotely-located user.” FaceTime on your windshield, in plain speak.

(Most likely while a future self-driving car allows you to safely be distracted in such a way.)

The patent was first reported on by the website Patently Apple.

Drawings included with the patent filing also indicate the system would be able to modify external objects, such as a sign.

As an example, one of the drawings shows a road sign indicating a school is two miles away and a hospital is one mile away. If a driver were en route to the school, the system would be able to obscure the portion of the sign indicating the hospital.

“Based on a determination that (the school) is associated with the present driving route along which the vehicle is being navigated … the augmented reality display system … can generate a display element … so that the element obscures the unrelated content (the hospital) so that the perceived content on the sign is restricted to the relevant content (the school),” the filing reads.

Another drawing shows how a route would be laid out in front of a driver, with dots indicating the directions, while other drawings show how your speed relative to the speed limit could be displayed.

The patent indicates design features that would provide information on what’s in blind spots or what other cars around yours are doing, and even simulate environmental objects, such as a digital “speed bump” if you’re going too fast.

A March report by WIPO indicated some skepticism about the patent application, related to its novelty and inventiveness.

Apple would not necessarily need the patent to produce such a system, however.

The tech giant recently valued as the world’s first $1 trillion company has also reportedly been working on self-driving car technology.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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