Apple patent reveals Oculus Rift-like head-mounted goggles

Credit: Evan Ackerman/DVICE

Wearable technology is hotter than Miley Cyrus right now. Every major tech company is investing in research and development for what will come after smartphones and tablets. Will we be wearing smartwatches or head-mounted glasses or goggles such as the Galaxy Gear, Google Glass and Oculus Rift virtual reality headset?

A newly publicized Apple patent unearthed by the patent-snooping fellas at Patently Apple has revealed Apple's interest (real or not) in a head-mounted display (HMD). While the patent filing includes illustrations that look like the Oculus Rift's official concept (ski google-like), the actual invention described is more akin to the Sony Personal 3D Display or Cinemizer in that it's a personal display system that will be used for vision-engulfing, IMAX-like visual experiences.

The patent suggests movies would be viewable on the headset either through a wired or wireless connection from an electronic device such as an iPhone, computer, TV, set-top box or game console.

Even more interesting is how Apple's head-mounted display may compensate for users with bad vision. The patent states users who wear glasses may input eyesight correction values into the headset to allow for a more comfortable viewing experience. Not only that, but the headset would remember the values so that it can automatically change to the correct settings after scanning a user's eyes.

Apple's headset sounds great on paper, but until a real product is shown, it's nothing but patent vaporware. Still, wearable headset displays appear to be picking up traction. Microsoft and Sony are both reportedly working on their own VR headsets. And if the popularity of the Oculus Rift dev kit is anything to go by, it'd be in Apple's interest to stay on top of the emerging technologies that are making headway in the wearable space.

USPTO, via Patently Apple and Gizmodo

For the latest tech stories, follow DVICE on Twitter
at @dvice or find us on Facebook