As we get closer and closer to the rumored fall release date of the iPhone 5, we’re also hearing more and more about possible new enhancements and technology that will accompany this highly-anticipated smartphone. Now, we’ve got a word that Apple has just secured a patent for a “video telephonic headset” that could very well be a future accessory for your iPhone 5 and other iOS devices.
Patently Applereports that Apple was granted a patent relating to a “head mounted display system” and one that mirror’s Google’s very own headset project, Google Glass:
“Earlier this week, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a very special granted patent of Apple’s relating to a Head Mounted Display system. The Los Angeles Time mistakenly reported that “Apple may be taking a page out of Google’s book.” No, no, no. Apple’s patent predates the iPhone while Google’s patent is shown to have been filed be in 2011. So if anything, it’s Google taking a page out of Apple’s book, again. Admittedly, Google’s vision for video glasses does in fact appear to be far more aggressive than Apple’s humble aspirations, but it may be more realistic.”
It’s interesting to note that Apple seems to have beaten Google to the punch this time in designing the possible future of headsets. But while Google aims to turn Google Glass as a jump off point into a loftier goal of making wearable computing more mainstream, it seems that’s Apple’s plan for their device is still based more on entertainment applications such as watching movies perhaps on your iPhone 5 or its successor:
“Apple’s main focus is connecting the headset to an iDevice in order to watch movies. Its secondary focus is shown to be working with telephony and the internet. Yet considering that the patent was actually filed prior to the iPhone debuting, the idea was way ahead of its time. Apple’s patent presents us with a grand overview of the optical options that they’re considering for this device and hints that it’ll be mainly aimed at consumer entertainment and gaming.”
The patent was first filed near the end of 2006 and was not granted until last week. While there is no word as to when or of we’ll actually see this as becoming part of a typical iOS device package, I wouldn’t be surprised if these headsets become almost as ubiquitous as he white iPhone earbuds.