The Future of AR… is in a hat
With the emergence of artificial reality, manufacturers have struggled to create a system that would integrate an artificial reality environment into their customers’ everyday routines. The promise of smart glasses and artificial reality glasses seem to always be a few years away but there are not many signs of progress.
This week Facebook was issued a patent that takes a new approach to artificial reality displays by integrating it into a hat. The hat form factor will be much larger than the conventional glasses or goggles approach. Facebook believes that the extra space will allow them to deliver a better and more complex system in the end product.
WHat the invention would do
Facebook seeks to capitalize on the hat-form factors in a plurality of ways. The display will be incorporated into the brim of the hat to minimize contact with the user. Additionally, heat-generating components required to run the artificial reality display can be given similar treatment and be incorporated into areas of the hat that do not have direct contact with the user, such as the brim. Not only does this improve the overall comfort of the system wherein more conventional applications there is no other place to put these components except in contact with the user.
The positioning of the brim also enables more sensors to be incorporated than would be available in the frame of glasses. Face tracking sensors, microphones, and environment sensors can all be embedded within the hat to collect. With all of the additional systems integrated into the hat, the extra weight added by the artificial reality system can be equally distributed throughout the band of the hat, rather than on a few pressure points like the top of the user’s ears and the bridge of their nose resulting in a much more user-friendly and comfortable experience.
Why Facebook’s hat is interesting
Augmented reality technology has recently stagnated, as development still seems to linger in its early stages. This particular patent application was filed in June of 2019 and claims a broad application for an artificial reality display. Facebook’s integration of an artificial reality display into the hat form factor is novel and inventive, demonstrating the potential for continued development in this field.
At the end of the day, this patent demonstrates that tech companies are still innovating to find the next big breakthrough in artificial reality. If Facebook’s hat form sticks, we certainly hope Founders Legal green is a color option.
Written by John DeStefano, Technical Advisor
and Lauren Hawksworth, Marketing Administrator
June 22, 2021