Apple awarded patent for virtual reality iPhone-carrying headset
Company patents head-mounted device that would use its owner’s smartphone as a screen
Apple has been awarded a patent for a head-mounted display device, which uses an inserted iPhone for a screen.
The patent, which was filed in September 2008 but only granted this week, shows a chunky set of glasses similar to Samsung's Gear VR or Google's Cardboard project, but with a slot for a mobile phone. It also shows built-in earphones and a wireless remote control that the user can hold in their hand while plugged in to the system.
According to The Guardian, the patent says that such a system avoids the "inconvenient and cumbersome" alternative of connecting a headset to a PC by wires.
The granting of the patent follows a wave of job adverts showing that the company is seeking to hire developers with expertise in developing VR apps. Some adverts called for engineers to "create high performance apps that integrate with virtual reality systems for prototyping and user testing", while others looked for developers with experience with the Oculus Rift VR headset to create "state of the art physics-based world simulation, visuals and virtual reality".