Patent published on February 29, 2024

New Patent Solves the Mystery of Eye Contact in Holographic Calls with XR Glasses

Meta Platforms Technologies has recently published a patent, titled "Authentic Eye Region Capture through Artificial Reality Headset," that aims to tackle the challenge of capturing eye contact during holographic calls with XR glasses. Holographic calls have become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing people to communicate with others in a more immersive and realistic manner. However, one critical element missing from these calls is the ability to establish eye contact, which plays a crucial role in understanding emotions and focusing attention.

The problem arises from the design of XR glasses themselves, which often present a barrier to capturing the user's eyes. The lenses of these glasses often apply lighting effects that hinder external cameras from capturing the eye region accurately. Consequently, holographic representations of users either omit the eyes entirely or rely on algorithmic predictions, which can be prone to inaccuracies. Given the expressiveness and contextual importance of eye movements in natural language communication, accurately capturing and rendering the eyes in holographic calling is vital.

This patent proposes several innovative solutions to overcome these challenges. One approach involves temporarily deactivating the tint or display on the XR glasses for a brief duration. This temporal multiplexing technique allows an external image capture device to synchronize with the headset and capture an image of the user's eye region during this brief window. Alternatively, the image capture device can be triggered based on pixel changes resulting from the deactivation of the tint or display.

By implementing these methods, the patent aims to improve the holographic calling experience significantly. Users will no longer be restricted to a representation that obscures their eye region or relies on inaccurate predictions. Instead, genuine eye contact can be captured and displayed, enhancing the overall communication and understanding between callers. This breakthrough will revolutionize the way holographic calls are conducted, bringing them closer to resembling face-to-face interactions.

In practical terms, the impact of this technology is substantial. During holographic calls, individuals will be able to make eye contact and interpret emotions more accurately, fostering deeper connections and effective communication. Professionals working remotely can maintain better engagement in virtual meetings, as eye contact plays a pivotal role in expressing attentiveness and focus. Additionally, this technology can have significant implications in fields such as telemedicine, virtual education, and remote collaboration, where non-verbal cues and eye contact are crucial for effective interaction.

While the Meta Platforms Technologies patent offers a promising solution to the long-standing challenge of eye contact during holographic calls, it's important to note that this is still a patent and not a definitive product. The availability of this technology in the market is uncertain. Nevertheless, the potential of this innovation to transform holographic communication and bridge the visual gap is undeniable, opening new horizons in the integration of technology and human connection.

Explore more