Apple has yet to make a move in the VR segment, but a recent patent and some recent hirings reflect the company’s intention to come up with a product soon
Apple has been awarded a patent on a headset that would make the iPhone compatible with virtual reality displays. A patent titled “Head Mounted Display Apparatus For Retaining A Portable Electronic Device With Display” was received by Apple on Tuesday, and it appears to be a large eyeglass-style frame that can encase the smartphone.
Similar to Samsung’s gadget
As per the patent, after connecting to the headphone, the screen of the smartphone will display directly before the viewer’s eyes with an option of picture-in-picture if the user wishes to see things happening around him or her. The patent, which was filed by Apple in 2008, suggests that when a headphone is connected to an iPhone, the two different units become one device.
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The gadget mentioned in the patent filing bears a close resemblance to the Gear VR headset released by Samsung in the previous year and was linked with the South Korean firm’s large-screen Galaxy Note 4 smartphones. Also last year, during a developer conference in San Francisco, search engine giant Google distributed sample kits to make cardboard virtual reality headsets that could be used as the frames for Android-powered smartphones.
Apple seeks developers for VR apps
The patent follows numerous job postings from Apple seeking engineers with experience in developing virtual reality apps, according to a report from the Financial Times. Last November and even as recently as last week, Apple posted two jobs hiring for software engineers to create high-performance apps that connect with virtual reality systems for prototyping and user testing. Recently a couple of ads for VR/AR programmers indicated that the company is looking for candidates with a proven track record in virtual and augmented reality to “enable development of Apple’s next generation of products.”
In another job posting, applications are invited from developers seeking “state-of-art physics-based world simulation, visuals and virtual reality” along with a working experience for the Oculus Rift VR headset.
Apple has not yet taken a step in the virtual reality market, a concept that attracted attention following Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR last year. However, the new patent in no way guarantees that the product will be on the market one day as Apple is known for researching various products, but not every one of those products becomes a reality.