Apple Patents Google Cardboard-style VR Headset for iPhone

patently apple headset picIt was only yesterday that we were reporting on Apples move into the autonomous car market where Google has already established a presence, and today documents filed at the US Patent and Trademark office have shown Apple may also be planning on copying Googles Cardboard VR headset.

The files, uncovered by Patently Apple, show a headset which enables users to slide an iPhone or iPod into a dock to provide a virtual reality experience, with features including a Picture-in-Picture mode that enables users to keep an eye on their environment or watch a movie while also navigating social media.

The patent included a system for some physical controls, but it appears others will be made through voice commands, possibly utilising Apples digital assistant Siri. The device would also offer advanced haptics in the earplug area, used to enhance sound effects from movies and games.

A headset device by Apple has been rumoured before, but the granting of the patent, combined with the similarity to the Google Cardboard and Samsungs Oculus-powered VR headset, makes for intriguing timing. 40 other patents were also granted to Apple by the USPTO alongside the headset device, some of submitted up to seven years ago.