Patent Office Publishes Apple Application for Windshield Glare Suppression System

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc. is seeking a U.S. patent application for an “Active Glare Suppression System” for vehicles. The patent application was filed in September 2016, but was just published by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office on October 25.

“A vehicle may have optical structures such as windows and mirrors that have the potential to allow glare from external objects to shine into the eyes of a driver or other vehicle occupant,” writes Apple in the abstract accompanying its application. “A control circuit may gather information on where the eyes of the driver are located using a camera mounted in the vehicle and may gather information on where the sun or other source of glare are located outside of the vehicle.”

It continues, “Based on this information, the control circuit may direct a light modulator on a window or mirror to selectively darken an area that prevents the glare from reaching the eyes of the driver. The light modulator may have a photochromic layer that is adjusted by shining light onto the photochromic layer, may be a liquid crystal modulator, an electrochromic modulator, or other light modulator layer.”

The patent application describes “a system that reduces glare associated with exterior light shining into a vehicle.” The system includes: “a sensor that gathers eye location information; a first light source; a second light source; and a light modulator that includes a photochromic layer, wherein: the photochromic layer comprises a material that selectively darkens where exposed to light from the first light source and that selectively is bleached where exposed to light from the second light source, and the light modulator is configured to selectively expose an area of the photochromic layer to light from the first and second light sources, wherein the area exposed is based at least partly on the eye location information.”

Click here for full text of the patent application.

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