Apple Patent Hints at Focus Mode for Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro

The Apple Vision Pro already has a Focus Mode that you can manually activate, but the company wants to make things more dynamic. A recent patent from Apple, filed in September 2023, and published on March 28, 2024, shows how Focus Mode on the Vision Pro could get smarter for wearers of the headset, based on what’s happening in the world around them.

Appropriately named “operating modes for reducing distractions in extended reality environments,” the patent sets out to solve a common issue. Indeed, Apple wants to help promote your focus while you wear a headset for an extended period of time. In referencing extended reality systems, Apple notes in the patent: “It may be desirable for these systems to provide additional types of user experiences that help maintain a user’s attention on a given activities.”

Apple’s solution is pretty smart. The company wants to use the sensors in a headset to determine whether the criteria for a Focus Mode have been met. Those sensors can continuously detect distracting objects, assign a distraction type, and then generate another type of image, replacing the real-world objects and what’s causing a distraction. The headset, or as Apple calls it, an extended reality system, can even prepare users for Focus Mode by reading an attentive state and providing a set of Focus Mode options.

As Apple mentions: “While in the focus mode, the system can receive imaging data of the physical environment around the user using the first set of sensors and identify using the imagine data a target object that is associated with the selected distraction type.”

Apple goes as far as to include some diagrams of how the technology would work. As seen below, you can see how the technology can remove things like a table, a book, a window, and a door from the frame of view of a person with a headset.

Not all patents end up becoming final products, or software, but this is a pretty nifty trick. Currently, with Focus Mode on the Apple Vision Pro, you need to manually head into the settings app to create one, or simply sync it up with what you’ve set across your Apple devices. Focus Mode is currently more about notifications, though, and this patent shows how things can be taken to the next level. Perhaps the technology could come to future versions of the Apple Vision Pro, or even to current models with a visionOS Update. Time will tell, but this technology is pretty cool.

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