back to article Apple files 'in your face' iPhone patent

Apple has applied for a patent that describes a pair of goggles into which you can slip your iPhone or iPod touch to view images or video, optionally in 3D. That is, if we're not being punk'd by such a distinguished agency as the US Patent and Trademark Office on April Fools' Day. We're not saying that the USPTO is staffed by …


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  1. Ivan Headache

    clever idea but

    I think big hoax. The screen width of my ipod Touch is barely 5mm wider than the gap between my pupils. Lots of info in the area above my nose but nothing to the left or right.

    Unless of course a new slimmer, but longer iPod/phone is in the offing.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      There must be some optical solution

      Disregarding the screen size, a regular human (unless he's very, very short-sighted) can't focus on the display this close to the eye. therefore, some sort of optical adapter (thin-film or diffraction optics) must be placed to allow focusing (unless this is, indeed, an april fool's patent).

      Such optical adapter may also be used to optically extend and separate the display halves.

      Note to Reg: if Apple has indeed forgotten to add the lens, please consider this post as prior art.

      mine is the one with dual-cowon-D2 goggles in the pocket.

  2. Tristan Young


    I hope this was an April fools joke, because it's crazy.

    For a system like this to work, your eyes would have to be able to focus down to 4cm or less. Last time I checked, most people's close focus peters out around 10cm or more. My own close focus is 15cm. 10cm isn't close enough to prevent the left eye from seeing the right half of the screen.

    Now optics could possibly solve this, except for one thing.... any optic used would magnify the pixels, and the frame resolution per eye would be rather small - hardly enough to render movies like Avatar in any decent quality. The field of view would also be greatly reduced. Some people would experience eye fatigue from staring at the LCD that close.

    3D Shutter glasses and the iphone would make more sense. Another idiotic Apple patent.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      if only the pranksters could read ...

      Wann, J.P. and Mon-Williams, M. (1997) Health issues with virtual reality displays: what we do know and what we don't. ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics, 31 (2). pp. 53-57.

      Virgence and accommodation problems anyone?

      I smell law suits.

  3. GHok

    Seems unlikely

    Maybe they're thinking waaaaay down the line in terms of tech? Which, now-a-days may not actually be that far down the line in terms of years... Patent an accessory for something that hasn't been invented yet, and then wait for it to be invented.

  4. Phillip Webster
    Jobs Horns

    It's been done.

    And I suspect this isn't the first:

    More tasteful device used there as well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Looks prior art enough to me...

      Of course, the patent office never looks at hackers sites.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Sony Walkman To Apple Stumbleman ?

    No it's not a hoax. It is cutting edge Technology that is merely stupid.

    As the Twenty-Somethings reach their Golden Years (i.e. cop to being Early-Thirty-Somethings), they will no doubt adopt some more couch-potatoly pursuits. So, this may be a smart move on Apple's part. Hey! Hear you went Bungee Jumping while on Safari. What did that feel like ? Well, you know I had already seen Avitar three times, but at least I had a few extra battery packs ...

    If Paper Clips were under Patent, the Legal Eagles at Apple would be working on "Techniques for the Insertion of Bundles of Thin Layers of Cellulose Containing Materials into Bent Wire".

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    Obvious question.

    As the iPhone is the inveterate willy-waver's penis substitute du jour, what sort of person goes around with one strapped to their head?

  7. Poor Coco
    Thumb Down


    ...and I thought I'd seen the worst yesterday, when I saw some dude driving while using BOTH hands to drive his QWERTY mobile phone.... and leaving no hands, as well as no attention, for the task of controlling his vehicle.

    Now these idiots can have 100% of their field of view obstructed by their fecking iPhones. Thanks to a screen, which, as pointed out above, will be 100% unuseable because it's out of focus*. Oh well, at least the glassestards will be easy to spot, thanks to the notch they have sawn into their noses.

    * Unless the moron in question has superhuman ocular accommodation, in which case they'll just have a blinding migraine.

  8. Tom 35
    Thumb Down

    something like this?

  9. ian 22

    Panavision version

    Can this be done with an iPad? I'm looking forward to viewing Imax movies (after I complete my course of neck-strength exercises) with it.

  10. Elmer Phud


    Pull on the iShades, put in the ear plugs, you know where to put the cork.

  11. Steve Evans


    I guess from the second diagram that a new iPhone will be released for these glasses, one with a sharpened bottom edge so it can be rammed through the bridge of the nose?

    I guess this is Apple's way of relieving the excessive weight of a complete phone being rested on your nose. Remove the nose and spread the load out onto the cheek bones.

  12. Kurt 5

    Internal, not External

    I'd rather see a patent for a slot in the side of my head so I can have the iPhone BEHIND my eyes. Also means I don't have to wear the silly looking glasses.


    Cease and desist

    Hoax or not, I claim to have invented this... so I'll be going after some of that Apple cash mountain...just as soon as I can find a no-win-no-fee patent lawyer.

  14. ZenCoder

    could be a prevantative measure

    Maybe they don't want any device like this built ever .. so they patent it.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Peril Sensitive Sunglasses

    Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses have been specially designed to help people develop a relaxed attitude to danger. At the first hint of trouble, they turn totally black and thus prevent you from seeing anything that might alarm you.

  16. heyrick Silver badge

    Sorry, no...

    Oooh, it plugs into a iWhatever. Oooh.

    Apple, look, learn:

  17. Mark Davies

    You may laugh now...

    but this patent seems to be so broad that it would cover any device that could be used in your hands and then form part of an immersive, goggles based device.

    Current iPod, iPhone etc are a bit big, but a couple of generations down the line (whether produced by Apple or not) they might be thin and light enough for this. Imagine a phone/games tablet that is also light enough to stick over your eyes on the plan/train - could be a good seller.

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