It is without a doubt that over the last couple of years Apple seems to be ramping up the amount of wearable computing patents.
In fact just recently Apple was granted a new patent which describes a Google-like video headset (that looks like a snorkelling diving mask) which allows users to view media while on the go with a much larger view than most mobile devices can provide.
A goggle system for providing a personal media viewing experience to a user is provided. The goggle system may include an outer cover, a mid-frame, optical components for generating the media display, and a lens on which the generated media displayed is provided to the user. The goggle system, or head mounted display may have any suitable appearance. For example, the goggle system may resemble ski or motorcycle goggles. To enhance the user’s comfort, the goggle system may include breathable components, including for example breathable foam that rests against the user’s face, and may allow the user to move the display generation components for alignment with the user’s eyes. In some embodiments, the goggle system may include data processing circuitry operative to adjust left and right images generated by the optical components to display 3-D media, or account for a user’s eyesight limitations.
In all seriousness though, the design of this headset is just like the Oculus Rift and even Apple describes the headsets capability of providing a 3D experience just like it. Other uses include providing a movie theatre-like experience for view media at home and retina scanning.
Apple elaborated on the possible use cases:
Entertainment system 2400, displayed in FIG. 24, may include goggle system 2401 and iDevice wired or unwired (as shown in FIG. 26). The electronic device could be any suitable electronic device for providing media to the goggle system such as, a computer, a cellular telephone, a mobile communications device, a personal media device, a gaming device, a set-top box, a television system, or any other suitable electronic device.
The patent overall is impressive and covers other potential features like voice recognition and fingerprint scanning. And unlike a lot of patents which are very generic in terms of the intentions of the technology, this particular filing is clear: display goggles.
Will this technology ever see the light of day?
It’s hard to say, a lot of Apple patents never make it to retail shelves, but it is interesting to say the least.