Apple Granted Patent for VR Headset for Use With iPhone, iPod

Feb 17, 2015 5:21 PM PST

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple today was granted a patent for a virtual reality video headset.

According to U.S. Patent No. 8,957,835, Apple’s head-mounted display systems and methods of operation allow users to couple and decouple a portable electronic device, such as an iPhone or iPod.

“Such a configuration can allow the user to view media on a private display, while the media is provided by a personal handheld device,” the patent said.

Apple’s system using the head-mounted display systems will have some physical controls but other controls may be set off by voice commands, possibly Siri.

It also offers advanced haptics in the earplug area for enhanced sound effects and a picture-in-picture feature, which can be used to keep an eye on the real world while wearing the headset.

So far, virtual reality headsets, which hold so much promise for the adult entertainment industry particularly when combined with haptic devices for touch, have a clear future.

Samsung and Google already have them rolled out, and Oculus Rift headsets are slated to be available later this year. Its DK2 model will sell for about $350.

Sony, with its Project Morpheus, and Microsoft also are getting into the virtual reality business. Microsoft is working on a holographic headset called HoloLens, which is expected to run Windows 10 and apps.

The list of other virtual reality headsets either available to the masses or in development also keeps growing. Some of the manufacturers and their models include Razer, which offers the OSVR for $200; Avegant offering the Glyph for $600 later this year; and Sulon Cortex, which sells for $500.

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