Apple wins patent for iPhone-powered virtual reality headset

If this patent is any indication of the future, then you should prepare to be swamped with VR headsets.


Apple may be considering entering the VR game, according to a newly-granted patent.

A patent for a “head-mounted display apparatus for retaining a portable electronic device with display” was granted to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark. In laymen’s terms, it’s expected to be a wireless headset that uses the iPhone as a screen. According to diagrams of the device from the patent, it resembles the Samsung Gear VR, which works in a similar way as it uses the Galaxy Note 4 in order to power the headset.

"The frame may place a display screen of the portable electronic device in front of the user's eyes," the patent reads. "The display screen of the portable electronic device may act as the primary display screen of the head-mounted device." The headset would also include a remote control that allows the user to change content displayed on the screen while wearing it.

If this patent leads to Apple entering the virtual reality ring, it joins an already impressive lineup of companies that are looking to use mobile devices to help push VR to a wider market. This, of course, includes Samsung and Google, although considering just how profitable Apple has been with its mobile devices, specifically its iPhone and iPad, it will certainly make a larger splash than either company has in the past.

Gaming could absolutely benefit from Apple getting into the VR industry as revolutionized the mobile gaming industry in a number of ways, especially by how easy it is to play games on iOS devices. We're already seeing developers support the mobile VR scene, so Apple's entry into the market would absolutely get more developers to start working on Apple VR versions of their games.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 18, 2015 1:25 PM

    Daniel Perez posted a new article, Apple wins patent for iPhone-powered virtual reality headset

    • reply
      February 18, 2015 1:42 PM

      Filed, 2008.

      • reply
        February 18, 2015 1:48 PM


      • reply
        February 18, 2015 1:55 PM

        and he is reporting that it was just recently granted

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          February 18, 2015 2:42 PM

          I sure am!

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          February 18, 2015 4:43 PM

          Right, but the filed date is also intetesting because it preceeds the OR

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            February 18, 2015 6:12 PM

            Do you mean Oculus Gear VR? The OR doesn't use a phone. The Gear does. Also, I don't think patents work like that.

            "I hereby patent any and all methods of sticking a phone into a head visor for stereoscopic VR. I'm rich!"

            If it did, better mouse traps would never have been improved.

            Also, Samsung applied in 2006.

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              February 18, 2015 8:01 PM

              Not a phone, but I recall OR using a phone screen.

              I found it interesting that apple and carmack concluded that phone screens were good enough to be used as displays in headsets.

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                February 18, 2015 8:44 PM

                either way, with the original patents being as old as they are, I think any product will diverge enough to skirt either the samsung or apple patent. otherwise, lackey needs better lawyers.

                The important thing here is that apple has been considering the VR headset world for a while.

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        February 18, 2015 2:56 PM

        Filed and granted aren't the same thing, right?

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      February 18, 2015 2:51 PM

      Between Apple and Facebook, I weep for our VR future.

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        February 18, 2015 6:15 PM

        I'm imagining facebook selling us these huge google car cameras that we wear like a scuba helmet on vacation so we can upload VR compatible videos for our friends that they'll never click on.

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      February 18, 2015 3:01 PM

      Yet another possibly cool thing that I don't care at all about because Apple.

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