The Oculus Rift is pretty amazing; it’s the “virtual reality” gaming environment we all dreamed of as kids, and now it’s finally becoming a real product for consumers. But Apple may have its own device that will take the Rift head-on (pun intended, of course).
The company recently received a “knockout” patent for a head mounted display, and apparently it has been fooling around with patents related to that sort of technology since way back in 2006, before the Oculus Rift was a geek household name, which means it may have some pretty advanced ideas of what these sorts of devices can be used for.
According to Patently Apple, Apple’s patented device serves as a sort of ski goggle-like headset that can display a screen in front of your eyes, to replicate a sort of movie theater screen experience for movies, games, communications and more. The patent shows the device hooking into an iPod, again showing the age of some of the ideas, but also imagines taking advantage of a user’s eyeballs, voice or fingerprint to identify who is using the product. Apple has already made headway in that space with TouchID, so it’s not out of the question that we could see it make its way into a head mounted display.
The big question is whether or not Apple will pursue this device now that it has a patent, and in what way. Google’s taking wearable tech down a different path with a heads-up display in the form of Glass, and Apple could compete in that market, too, though these goggles seem more for use while prone, not while moving about.