Apple has today been awarded a new patent by the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) titled “Head-mounted display apparatus for retaining a portable electronic device with display”, that hints at a virtual reality iPhone carrying headset, similar to Samsung’s Gear VR or Google’s Cardboard project (via The Guardian). The patent illustrates a set of glasses with a slot for an iPhone, as well as built-in earphones and a wireless remote control the user can hold in their hand while plugged in to the system.
“The portable electronic may be physically coupled to the head-mounted device such that the portable electronic device can be worn on the user’s head. The portable electronic device may be operatively coupled to the head-mounted device such that the portable electronic device and head mounted device can communicate and operate with one another. Each device may be allowed to extend its features and/or services to the other device for the purpose of enhancing, increasing and/or eliminating redundant functions between the head-mounted device and the portable electronic device.”.
The filing notes that the proposed system avoids the “inconvenient and cumbersome” alternative of connecting a headset to a PC by wires. It must be kept in mind however that the patent doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple is seeking to create a virtual reality device. The Cupertino giant regularly seeks protection for ideas which it has little intention of bringing to market, such as an infrared camera system for iPhones or displays with audio sensors built-in.
For more details about the patent, click here.