Patent published on August 29, 2023

Snap's New Patent Could Make Spectacles See Toys Come Alive

There has always been a fascinating world of movable objects such as toys whereby an individual's imagination reigns supreme. However, current systems lack the ability to provide a continuous connection between such objects and their identities. With patent number US11740313B2, developed by Snap, this issue could be a thing of the past.

The current scenario breeds a variety of challenges. The existing Computer Vision and Augmented Reality (AR) systems scan all objects in a physical environment, both stationary and moving, but they struggle with distinguishing one object from another or noting changes from their previous state. Think of this limitation as overlooking the simple act of a door opening. Once the previously closed door is open, the systems identify it as a new door altogether – failing to maintain the ‘continuity of identity’ for the door.

Snap is looking to solve this with their recently patented technology detailed in US11740313B2, titled 'Augmented reality precision tracking and display.' By incorporating special transmitters on the movable objects like toys, and employing receivers to locate them, they can achieve a continuous mapping of the object. This technology also links smart glasses, which could act as the user's visualizing tool, enabling real-time interaction with the tracked toys. It could help realize AR around a specific object and maintain its identity, opening up an intriguing world of interactive play.

This advancement could redefine our interaction with the physical world. For instance, picture watching your favorite stuffed animal springing to life in a virtual setting, responding to your gestures, and engaging in activities that were once mere fragments of the imagination. Spectacles - the wearable electronic eyeglasses by Snap, may become the magic glasses through which kids and adults alike could play with their toys in a blended reality setting.

But where does this leave us, given the conventional use of toys, you may ask? As society becomes increasingly digitally integrated, this development could potentially drive an immersive play atmosphere where physical toys and digital interactivity coexist.

Yet, do bear in mind that this excitement stems from a patent, which doesn't assure the technology's retail presence. While it presents an exciting view of potential future applications, the timeline and actual usage of such technology remain subject to variables not covered by the patent.

P.S. As this is a recently approved patent, whether we will see its real-world application or not remains to be seen. But one thing is sure - augmented reality is inching closer to our everyday lives more than ever before.

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