“Apple’s long-rumored AR or VR headset could keep some of its optical components behind an electrically-controlled layer to hide them from view when not required, as well as earphones that could be removed from the head-mounted display and used as speakers,” Malcolm Owen reports for AppleInsider:
Published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, two patent applications show Apple is still concerned with how the headset could look, as well as unique ways it can provide an improved auditory experience to its users.
The first patent application, “Electronic Devices having Electrically Adjustable Optical Layers,” deals with the idea of hiding components… The application suggests this could be used for a variety of electronic device designs, including handheld device housings and head-mounted versions. This infers a system that could be used to hide externally-facing sensors on a headset, but also potentially elements on a smartphone, such as an iPhone’s camera, to give a cleaner appearance.
The second application is for the simply-named “Display System Having an Audio Output Device,” which deals with detachable speaker units for a head-mounted display. In effect, it refers to earphones that could be removed from a headset.
MacDailyNews Take: As we saw with the ill-conceived Google Glass, camera glasses are not the most socially acceptable form of eyewear, regardless of their obvious utility. Being able to “hide” the camera would be a boon to wearers as an alternative to getting jumped in a bar.
As for the removable earphones, we expect something like AirPods Pro would be a perfect compliment, so having the ability to remove the earphones from the headset would be imperative.