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Apple is developing a system to alert users to physical objects when immersed in a virtual reality environment.
The Cupertino tech giant is rumored to be working on various virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) systems, including a mixed-reality "Apple Glass" headset. Although AR devices won't obstruct a user's view, the same can't be said for VR headsets or experiences.
Apple has a solution. In a patent application titled "detecting physical boundaries" and published on Thursday, the company details a system that could help VR users from bumping into objects in their physical environment.
As the company points out, a VR device could completely immerse a user into a simulated environment. That would make it difficult for them to see or notice objects in their actual, real-world surroundings.
"One challenge in computer simulated reality is that, while interacting with the virtual objects displayed by a head-mounted device, the user may be so immersed in the virtual reality environment that he or she lose awareness of the physical obstacles and/or boundaries in their physical vicinity. The head-mounted device can be opaque and cover both eyes of the user in some embodiments. Therefore, the user may not be able to see (e.g., directly see) the physical environment of the user," the patent reads.
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