One of Apple’s recently approved patent applications may just give us a sneak peek at the virtual reality technology it has been working on. More details on the development can be found right after the break.

Patents have historically been a pretty bad way of working out what Apple is going to do next. Known for throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks, the Cupertino firm files more patent applications than most of us could ever read about, and the vast majority of them never turn into anything other than good reading.

But that doesn’t stop us all from being curious about what those patent applications are.

Apple VR patent main

So when Apple has over 40 applications approved people tend to get interested. That’s exactly what just happened.

Encompassing a range of different technologies and designs for virtual reality hardware, the patents are plentiful but interesting nevertheless. The one that is grabbing the most attention though is one that also closely resembles virtual reality hardware that both Google and Samsung already make, or at least made. If you’ve ever seen Samsung’s Oculus style VR headset – the very same one which plays nicely with the Galaxy Note 4 – or even Google’s infamous Cardboard, then one of Apple’s new patents in particular is based on that idea.

That’s because it’s effectively a headset with space for an iPhone or iPod touch to be inserted. The aforementioned iOS device would then act as the screen while also lending its camera and other features as the main workings behind the whole thing.

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Samsung already tried just that with its own virtual reality headset. Google even gave Cardboard away at its I/O conference last year. Neither really took the world by storm, but that doesn’t mean that Apple wouldn’t be able to pull it off.

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At this point though it’s very much worth reminding you of what we said at the top of this post. Just because there’s a patent doesn’t mean there will ever be a product based on it.

But like they say, we never know what might actually bear fruit in the days / months / years to come. After all, Apple does tend to surprise us with different things from time to time. The Apple Watch is a good example right here.

(via: PatentlyApple)

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