Mobile devices such as Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR are still the most popular ways for users to experience virtual reality (VR). Though most exiting mobile VR devices do have their downsides. The Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream are somewhat bulky for travelling with, while Cardboard solutions can be less that robust. HTC have just patented a solution that could solve both issues.
HTC have had a patent approved by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) that was originally submitted in July 2016. As reported by LetsGoDigital, the patent is titled ‘Accessory and Lens System’. It shows a type of case for a smartphone, as well as an attachable VR viewer.
The viewer attaches to the case by means of magnets, so it is quick and easy to add and remove. The second section, where the lenses are, is foldable in a way that lets the lenses rest in front of the smartphone screen to allow the user to experience VR content.
The foldable and two-part nature of the viewer means it is more compact and portable that other devices such as the Samsung Gear VR. While the patent doesn’t specify what materials it would be made from, it is suspected amongst analysts that it is likely to be made of more hard-wearing materials than Cardboard, giving it an edge with regards to how robust it is.
HTC previously released a mobile VR headset device for the Japanese market with the HTC Link in May 2017, though there was never any indication by the company that it intended to release it for the Western market. It could be speculated that the new patent is geared towards the Western mobile VR market, though currently HTC have not given any indication of its plans.