woman wearing VR headset

Apple Vision Pro: The patents behind the technology

After years of rumours and speculation, Apple has finally unveiled its much anticipated mixed-reality headset. Called the Apple Vision Pro, it supports both AR and VR applications and is being named the most advanced personal electronics device ever, with over 5,000 patents filed related to it. It’s a new type of product that blends the digital and real world, allowing users to control everything using their eyes, hands and voice rather than holding physical controllers, introducing us to “spatial computing”. It uses micro-OLED technology to pack 23 million pixels into two displays. The device has twelve cameras, five sensors, and six microphones and is powered by Apple’s M2 chip and also has a new R1 chip. Years of innovation and R&D have gone into developing this breakthrough technology, let’s take a look at some of the patents that made it happen.


Over 5,000 patents were required to make the Vision Pro a reality and one of these shows how Apple has made it safe to use the Apple Vision Pro with motion sickness. The headset’s motion sickness reduction is happening at the processor level. Vision Pro’s R1 chip is responsible for processing data from the 12 cameras, 5 sensors, and 6 mics on the device. However, Apple has tuned it in a way that will reduce motion sickness and improve the overall immersion at the same time.

The headset adjusts the image around and outside the user’s peripheral vision to make it more immersive, whereas normal AR/VR headsets have a black border around the edges to keep you focused on the content in front of you. The headset audio is also tuned to keep the user focused and reduce motion sickness and the R1 chip is making this whole process personal for each user. According to the patent, the headset will track eye movements, head positioning, and hand gestures to personalise the experience, working on 6 degrees of freedom (DoF), tracking user movements and adjusting the cues in real time.


Some of the most important patents that were used to develop the Vision Pro deal with tracking the user’s head and eye movements, as well as allowing users to interact with digital content using their hands or voice. The patent application US 20230102507 filed in 2021 focusses on eye-tracking and gesture recognition technology. We now know that the device will be equipped with sophisticated sensors and algorithms to track eye movement and interpret hand gestures accurately. This functionality could allow users to interact with the digital content projected by the device using intuitive gestures or even eye movements, providing a natural and intuitive user experience.

Apple vision pro patent image

Image from patent number US20230102507 Eye detection methods and devices (source: PatBase).


Apple’s patenting activity over the years gave a glimpse of what features and functionalities might be included. The headset is a testament to Apple’s commitment to innovation, and it represents a major step forward in the development of spatial computing. As the space continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative and exciting applications for Vision Pro.

Apple’s Vision Pro headset is the perfect example of how a company’s patenting activity can give an idea of what they might be developing next. Therefor it is paramount for all innovative organisations to utilise a patent database to gain competitive insights and understand what is happening in a technology space. PatBase is the leading global patent database, enabling innovators worldwide to make informed strategic decisions. Contact us today for a free trial or to understand more about our suite of global patent intelligence solutions.