The discovery of a recently awarded patent has got the internet all excited that next year’s iPhone 8 may include VR capabilities.

iPhone 8
Image Credit: ConceptsiPhone / YouTube video

iPhone 7 likely to be a minimal upgrade

Apple are still yet to unveil the iPhone 7, but that hasn’t stopped speculation growing about the iPhone 8, with VR being the latest feature on everyone’s lips.

All signs suggest that the iPhone 7, which will be formally announced on September 7th, might be one of the duller upgrades from Cupertino giant. As people are increasingly holding on to the smartphones for longer, Apple seem likely to break their two-year cycle of ‘blockbuster’ phones (think iPhone 6 followed by iPhone 6S).

It seems the iPhone 7 will be a very moderate upgrade on what is currently available, with perhaps some subtle physical changes and the controversial missing headphone jack.

Instead some of the bigger and sexier upgrades will be held back for the iPhone 8, which also happens to be the ten-year anniversary of the original iPhone 1.

Virtual Reality

The next giant leap, (rather than incremental small step), seems to be the inclusion of Virtual Reality. Discovered patent filings show that Apple are working on the technology.

The device is imaginatively named, “Head Mounted Display Apparatus For Retaining a Portable Electronic Redeveloping vice with Display”. What we can deduce from this, is that it will be like a pair of glasses which the phone can slot into, providing the VR Experience (much like the way a Samsung phone can be attached to a Gear VR).

From the patent which was awarded yesterday, it appears that head mounted display apparatus will feature Integrated headphones and a Lightening connector that links the two devices together. It also appears to come with dual lenses and an Apple remote for controlling the device.

While the rumors have been floating for a long time about the not-so-secret Apple VR division, this is the first concrete proof that they have something in the pipeline and excitement levels are rising fast. Although the awarding of the patent doesn’t guarantee the product will come to fruition, we can say that it looks likely, especially as a rival to Samsung and the VR Gear.

With the Google Daydream expected to be announced his October, and Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO saying the VR was ‘cool’, the only real surprise is that it has taken this long for Apple to join the VR party.

Could be mentioned at next week’s launch

So when are we likely to get our first peak, at what will no doubt be dubbed ‘Apple VR’. Like everything, the Apple fanboys have no patience and many are hoping that it may get at least a mention at next week’s iPhone 7 launch.

Apple has occasionally offered ‘one more thing’ at the big launch events and this would be the perfect attention grabber, after what may be a slightly subdued unveiling of the iPhone 7. We will have to wait and see.

iPhone 8 to be the big advancement

As well as VR, the iPhone 8 is expected to be a generational change and offer a number of exciting features. It is thought the smartphone will come with a glass body, offering an edge-to-edge OLED screen. Wireless charging will likely be included for the first time and Touch ID fingerprint sensor allowing for the removal of the physical home button.

Big things are expected of the iPhone 8, but there is still a year a wait, in the meantime, check out what Tim Cook has to say on the launch of iPhone 7 next week.