According to reports, a patent for a virtual reality display that will mount on the head of an iPhone has been given to Apple. Similar to the concept for Gear VR by Samsung, this patent will allow Apple to manufacture an iPhone to be used as a portable virtual reality headset display.
Listed as US Patent No. 8,957,835, the US Patent and Trademark Office gave Apple the green light today. The device, which is officially entitled “Head-Mounted Display Apparatus for Retaining a Portable Electronic Device with Display” is a type of portable electronic device capable of having an iPhone inserted and then worn by a user on the head.
The invention was first filed back in 2008 at which time the application noted that inconvenience would probably be an issue with a wired connection. The solution, albeit temporary, was to merge a portable electronic device with a head-mounted device, both electronically and mechanically. With this new patent, Apple provided detailed illustrations on how the device would work.
Also included in the patent was information that the frame can be used to put a display screen of the portable electronic device directly in front of the eyes of users. With this, the screen would act as the primary screen of the device that is head-mounted.
Included in the concept by Apple is a remote control kept in the hand of the user. With this, a user has the ability to change screen content while at the same time, eyes are completely blocked by the iPhone display.
Gear VR by Samsung was launched last year and has a similar concept as Apple’s new product. For Gear VR, a smartphone in the form of the Galaxy Note 4 phablet is used to power a virtual reality accessory worn on the head. This product was designed along with Oculus, the same company that made the beta headset version Rift VR. At this time, Gear VR is also in beta mode, providing developers needed time for application creation and testing.
In addition to Gear VR, Samsung is working on Project Beyond, which is a camera with 360-degree capability while recording VR content. That product was first revealed last year and with Project Beyond, people who use Gear VR can look at content that has been generated from the device that captured 3D and depend on 16 full high-definition cameras.
While Samsung has moved full steam ahead into the world of virtual reality, Apple has been less enthusiastic. Even with the new patent, the company has not commented as to any software or hardware being developed. In addition to the head-mounted iPhone device, Apple has received patents on other inventions associated with accessories, design, and optics.