Apple granted U.S. patent for hybrid VR head-mounted display

“Apple has been awarded a patent for a virtual reality headset that can use an iPhone or iPod as a display,” John P. Mello Jr. reports for TechNewsWorld. “Patent number 8,957,835 was awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to Apple for a “head-mounted display apparatus for retaining a portable electronic device with display.” The abstract describes a device similar to the Gear VR, which weds a Samsung Note smartphone to a headpiece designed by Oculus.”

“In its description of the patent, Apple explains that the head-mounted display system would allow users to couple and decouple a portable electronic device with a head-mounted device so the two devices would temporarily act as a single unit,” Mello Jr. reports. “The portable electronic device — such as an iPhone — and the head-mounting device would be able to communicate with each other, the patent explained, and each device may be allowed to extend its features and services to the other to enhance, increase and eliminate redundant functions between the devices.”

U.S. patent number 8,957,835: Apple's "head-mounted display apparatus for retaining a portable electronic device with display"
U.S. patent number 8,957,835: Apple’s “head-mounted display apparatus for retaining a portable electronic device with display”

“Quin C. Hoellwarth is listed as the inventor on the patent, which was filed in September 2008,” Mello Jr. reports. “One advantage a hybrid headset has over more conventional VR offerings is mobility, observed Eric Smith, an analyst in the digital consumer practice at Strategy Analytics. ‘It gets rid of the bulky game console or PC that one-piece headsets have to hook up to,’ he told TechNewsWorld.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple is working on VR user interfaces and gaming; looking for Oculus and Leap experts – February 10, 2015
Apple patent application reveals personal display headset invention – May 8, 2014
Apple continues to tweak Apple TV video headset accessory – April 10, 2014
Apple granted knockout patent for head-mounted personal display – December 10, 2013
iGlasses: Apple granted patent for head-mounted augmented reality displays – July 5, 2012


  1. Here, at last, is something Samsung did first. Astonishing, isn’t it! I wonder if there will be lawsuits.

    Samsung: When you actually INVENT something, you’ll find we Apple fanatics actually appreciate that. It’s when you’re lazy plagiaristic dickheads that we complain and make fun of you as wannabe losers.

      1. REALLY! 2008! There’s a great question. We’d have to study the project between Samsung and Oculus. I can guess that their project was AFTER 2008 and that they had a peak at Apple’s patent submission. Wouldn’t THAT be fun! That would swap who’s suing who!

      1. Let me see what I can find…

        …2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo…. Carmack introduced a duct taped head-mounted display based on Luckey’s Oculus Rift prototype, which ran Carmack’s own software.

        2012 is obviously after 2008, meaning that Apple applied for their patent about 4 years before Oculus even existed.

        Need we know more? I don’t think so! But here’s more:

        Samsung Gear VR was announced September 3, 2014. But Gear VR could not be built until Oculus released their ‘Developer kit 2’, referenced in the Oculus article, in July 2014. At the earliest, Samsung could have received a beta version after the Developer kit was announced in March of 2014.

        Put together and what have we got? Lawsuits by Apple against Samsung and Oculus. Maybe. At this point we’d have to dive into the details of the related patents.

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