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This article was published on February 17, 2015

Apple might be working on a VR headset for iPhone, even though Tim Cook doesn’t like them

Apple might be working on a VR headset for iPhone, even though Tim Cook doesn’t like them
Owen Williams
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Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

A new patent granted to Apple today indicates that the company might just be getting into Google Glass territory after all.

The patent details a “head-mounted display system” that allows the wearer to operate a ‘handheld portable electronic device with a separate head-mounted device.” Legal mumbo-jumbo aside, it seems increasingly likely that Apple is working on a virtual reality headset.

Today’s patent filing reveals that such a product would be an iPhone accessory and would likely mount the iPhone for the experience like Samsung’s Gear VR already does. It also details a number of accessories, such as swappable batteries and a remote control.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 7.49.32 am

Back in 2014 Apple listed a job on its careers site for a “AR/VR Programmer” and won a separate patent for a Oculus Rift-style headset. What’s curious is in a profile of Jony Ive published earlier this week, Tim Cook said that “glasses were not a smart move” because “people would not really want to wear them.”

Of course, Apple works on many products that never see the light of day so it’s possible the company is just hedging its bets. But, there’s always the chance we’ll see Apple throwing its hat into the virtual reality ring soon.

US Patent 8,957,835 [US Patent and Trademark Office]

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