Feeds

Apple eyes virtual reality goggle game with patent filing

Proposed headset sounds a lot like something Facebook just bought..

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

Apple has filed for a patent which suggests the company is looking into developing its own head-mounted virtual reality system.

The patent application, disclosed Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), was originally filed by Apple in December of 2013. It describes a set of goggles which would be worn by users to function as a personal display.

While Apple's filing only generally describes the technology and does not list specific hardware components, the company noted that the headset would sport an outside cover and contain considerable hardware, suggesting a closed 'virtual reality' headset closer to the Oculus Rift than the 'augmented reality' of Google's Glass unit.

"In some embodiments, the goggle system may include data processing circuitry operative to adjust left and right images generated by the optical components to display 3-D media, or account for a user's eyesight limitations," Apple wrote in the filing.

Apple VR goggles

Apple's proposed goggle design
Click to enlarge.

As with all patent applications, it bears noting that such filings do not necessarily indicate that the company is indeed planning to bring a virtual reality headset to market anytime soon. The filing could, however, indicate that Apples has at least a passing interest in the virtual reality market.

The consumer electronics giant has been said to be looking to expand its iOS platform into new markets as of late. Long-standing rumors claim that the company is looking to develop a branded television for its AppleTV platform and more recently reports have picked up that Apple is in the late stages of developing a wrist-mounted iWatch device.

The arrival of Apple brings yet another big name into the emerging market for virtual reality hardware. Earlier this year Oculus made headlines when the Rift maker agreed to an acquisition package from Facebook valued at $2bn.

While Oculus appears to be in the lead as far as getting its product to market, Sony has put its considerable weight behind a project which would introduce a virtual reality headset for its Playstation 4 games console as well. Were Apple to join the fray, the VR market would suddenly become a highly competitive and even more exciting arena for gamers. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?