Get All Access for $5/mo

Apple Scores Patent For Virtual Reality Headset The global tech titan's patented design would put your iPhone directly in front of your eyes -- and perhaps eventually position Apple at the front of the virtual reality race.

By Kim Lachance Shandrow

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Apple appears to be tinkering with virtual reality, perhaps finally playing catch-up with fellow tech pioneers Microsoft, Samsung, Facebook and Google, all at the forefront of the trendy VR market.

News broke on Apple Insider on Tuesday that the Cupertino, Calif. tech titan was recently granted a patent for a head-mounted VR display that looks similar to Samsung's Gear VR goggles. The device -- no surprise here -- is essentially a goggles-style headset that would hold an iPhone directly before the wearer's eyes.

Related: Microsoft Pushes Toward Virtual Reality With Hologram Headset

U.S. patent number 8,957,835, filed way back in September 2008, illuminates the the plans for a "Head-Mounted Display Apparatus for Retaining a Portable Electronic Device with Display." Think a cross between Gear VR and Google Cardboard (thankfully without the cardboard) and you're basically there.

Apple Patent For Virtual Reality Headset

Image credit: Apple

"The frame may place a display screen of the portable electronic device in front of the user's eyes," reads the patent. "The display screen of the portable electronic device may act as the primary display screen of the head-mounted device." The patent for the hardware also mentions a detached hand-held remote control that would interact with the headset.

Related: Virtual Reality Meets DIY With Samsung's Project Beyond

Before you get too excited, remember that a patent does not an actual product make. Just because a patent exists, doesn't mean the device will come to market, in its originally proposed form or otherwise.

In related news, Facebook's head of product said at a Re/code conference in Dana Point, Calif. yesterday that the social media giant is creating versions of its apps for virtual reality. Facebook scooped up virtual reality startup Oculus VR for $2 billion last year.

Related: Hate Flying? This Dreamy (or Dorky) Virtual Reality Helmet Could Help You Escape the Experience.

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Former West Coast Editor

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Starting a Business

Spend Less Time Worrying About Your Company's Runway — And More Time Rethinking Your Strategy. Here's How.

Perceived short runways leave founders in angst. It does not have to be this way; the best way to extend the runway is the right strategy.

Business News

Wells Fargo Reportedly Fired More Than a Dozen Employees for Faking Keyboard Activity

The bank told Bloomberg that it "does not tolerate unethical behavior."

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Innovation

The Key to Real Innovation Is Cross-Pollination — Here Are 10 Ways to Implement It in Your Business

Transform your business with this unique approach to sparking innovation.

Business Models

5 Questions to Ask to Make Sure Your Company's Financial Plan Is on Track

Conducting a "check-up" at midyear is essential to maintain a healthy financial plan.