Apple patents VR headset

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Apple a patent for a virtual-reality headset designed to accommodate an iPhone for its display.

The device is called "Head-mounted display apparatus for retaining a portable electronic device with display", and can be paired with a handheld portable device.

The patent was filed with the USPTO by Apple in September 2008, and granted on 17 February, 2015.

"For example, a user may couple a personal electronic device, such as the iPod ... available from Apple Inc of Cupertino, Calif, or the iPhone ... also available from Apple Inc of Cupertino, Calif, to the head-mounted device via a cable or wire," ZDNet cites the patent documents.

In the images accompanying the documents, it’s shown that the headset is designed to fit an iPhone, which would be slotted in from the side of the device, meaning that the iPhone would be the VR’s display.

However, Apple is not the first company to have such a device in works.

Its rivals Google already have a similar device called Google Cardboard, and it’s basically a cardboard box cut out to fit a smartphone which could be used as a VR display.

There’s also Samsung’s Gear VR, a huge headset designed to be used with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Apple hasn’t shown much interest in the virtual reality realm before, and has initially decided to focus more on the wearable tech industry.

Its latest creation, the Apple Watch, is expected to hit the market in April 2015.