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(Pocket-lint) - We've seen numerous reports over the last few years suggesting Apple is working on augmented reality glasses or a mixed reality headset.

All that information has suggested that the device might come sometime in 2020 or the year after. 

Now a new patent has come to light showing plans to track your facial expressions, gestures and the movement of your eyes. 

The patent application suggests the design of the new headset could include various sensors to track your expressions and faithfully recreate them in mixed reality. This is clearly an expansion of the technology Apple has already worked on with Animoji

Animoji creates animated emoji characters using Apple's Face ID facial-recognition system combined with the iPhone's selfie camera to track facial expressions translate those into the animation.

This new tech is likely to be an expansion and enhancement of that logic. Separate sensors could be used to track eye movement, mouth movement and gestures too. 

The patent application suggests the setup would use outward-facing cameras to capture the real world as well. This could be used to place virtual objects in the user's real-world environment. It will also be used in other ways:

"In some embodiments, the world sensors may include one or more "video see through" cameras (e.g., RGB (visible light) video cameras) that capture high-quality video of the user’s environment that may be used to provide the user with a virtual view of their real environment." 

This is similar to the Passthrough+ system we've seen on the Oculus Rift S that lets you see the real world around you with the click of a button when you're immersed in a VR world. 

We'll have to wait to find out more, though it's still thought that the headset will make an appearance at some point in 2020. 

Writing by Adrian Willings. Originally published on 23 July 2019.