Apple granted patent for 3D goggles

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The USPTO today granted Apple a patent that describes a head-mounted display that lets users watch videos and other forms of personal media while on the go.

In the patent, Apple says that users who want to view videos away from home find portable devices limiting, since they can’t replicate the viewing experience on TV or a monitor. The goggle will be able to offer a similar viewing experience while at the same time being portable like an iPod. It’ll also have an added advantage of privacy, since the display won’t be visible to everyone around you.

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The goggles will not only display video, but in certain implementations also provide different images for each eye based on the user’s eyesight correction. The goggles could also allow 3D viewing enabling virtual reality experiences, similar to the Oculus Rift. From the patent:

A goggle system for providing a personal media viewing experience to a user is provided. The goggle system may include an outer cover, a mid-frame, optical components for generating the media display, and a lens on which the generated media displayed is provided to the user. The goggle system, or head mounted display may have any suitable appearance. For example, the goggle system may resemble ski or motorcycle goggles. To enhance the user’s comfort, the goggle system may include breathable components, including for example breathable foam that rests against the user’s face, and may allow the user to move the display generation components for alignment with the user’s eyes. In some embodiments, the goggle system may include data processing circuitry operative to adjust left and right images generated by the optical components to display 3-D media, or account for a user’s eyesight limitations.

Apple would let users enter eyesight corrections manually, but the goggles also have the ability to automatically detect the correction and accordingly adjust the images.

This isn’t Apple’s first wearable related patent. Last year, the company won a patent for a head-mounted display that doesn’t cause motion sickness. While these patents were filed quite a few years back, Apple is said to have recently turned its attention to the wearable category, though rumors point to an Apple watch rather than Apple goggles. Moreover, Tim Cook recently said that Google Glass, a similar product from Google, may not have a broad appeal.

Do you want a head-mounted display for watching videos on the go? Let us know in the comments below.

[USPTO via Patently Apple]

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