An intriguing new patent granted to the tech giant by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office suggests that development is underway for detachable or removable accessories that could accompany head-mountable devices. This would encompass AR or mixed reality (AR/VR) technologies and could include elements such as cameras, microphones, speakers, and more.
Spotted by Patently Apple, the recent filing describes potential removable accessories for future iterations of head-mounted devices like the Vision Pro. The core concept of this innovation lies in personalization – allowing users to modify components according to their needs or preferences, and consequently reducing the device’s overall price.
Head-mounted devices, which include various wearables such as head-mounted displays, headsets, visors, smart glasses, head-up displays, and others, can perform a wide array of functions determined by the components integrated during manufacturing, such as sensors, circuitry, and other hardware.
However, constraints related to space, cost, and other considerations may limit the ability to accommodate every component that might enhance functionality.
Users’ preferences for components and functions can greatly vary. While some might prioritize capabilities such as high-resolution display and extended battery life, others may lean towards a smaller form factor.
In addition, users’ requirements can fluctuate over time and based on their environment. For instance, while at home, a user might prioritize a high-resolution display, but they may prefer extended battery life when on the move.
The rumor mill suggests that a more cost-effective second-generation Vision Pro and an AR Apple Glass are under development.
If these speculations are accurate and such devices do launch with removable accessories, it’s likely that these accessories would be sold separately, which might not necessarily result in an overall cost reduction.