LG revealed its prototype VR headset using Valve’s Lighthouse positional tracking earlier this year, and while it isn’t certain what will become of the headset—or if it’ll be named “UltraGear” as a recent trademark filing suggests—it’s clear LG is thinking long and hard about the future of VR. A new patent, first reported by Dutch publication LetsGoDigitalshows a prospective LG headset sporting a unique spring-loaded grommet system that allows the headset to split in two.

Filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the patent shows just how LG could produce a VR headset capable of detaching between its dual displays and staying put when worn tightly on the head. Also worth noting is the integrated earbuds with their own holders, similar to the ones on the updated PSVR headset.

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You can see the entire patent here.

We’ve recently seen a split design similar in concept created by industrial design firm Nonobject, although their prototype uses simple magnets, something that probably won’t hold up to the rigors of normal movement during gameplay. The key difference in LG’s design lies with the spring-loaded mechanism that lets the headsets clip together, supposedly allowing for a tight enough connection to allow for the rigors of normal use.

It’s much too early to say if the design will somehow be applied to LG’s SteamVR headset, especially because the drawing neglects to show any evidence of SteamVR tracking, the halo-style headband, or even a cable that would connect it to a PC. Without knowing LG was producing a SteamVR headset, the drawing looks more like a standalone mobile VR headset, but that’s just pure speculation on my part.

While hard specs are important, VR headset manufacturers are dialing in on more or less the same display resolutions, making it hard for companies to communicate what makes their headset different from the rest of the pack. Offering unique and useful ergonomics is a great start.

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  • Mac

    Looks cool. I think this form factor has a lot of potential as long as it’s light enough to not need a top strap as well.

    • Firestorm185

      Agreed!

    • Graham J ⭐️

      No matter how light it is this design has to put pressure on the face, the most sensitive part of the head. The upper skull is the only appropriate place to bear load IMO.

      • RFC_VR

        HMD should look to modern bicycle helmets, very effective, micro adjust retention systems (designed for high energy activity) and self wicking antibacterial padding material. Developed over 20 years of innovation, they’ve done the grind already.

        Very easy to adapt a helmet harness to facial interface/lens/display block

        • Graham J ⭐️

          That’s a good point actually. My only concern there would be that those don’t have to support any more than their own weight, which is usually very low. I’m not sure a chin strap would fly either.

          • RFC_VR

            The chin strap is to stop the helmet coming off the head when you bounce off the ground (!!), the retention system is what cradles the skull and provides the necessary friction/grip to stabilise the helmet. You wouldn’t need any chin strap for HMD (unless on rollercoaster?) but the micro adjust ratchet are brilliant for one handed operation, and most harness have 3 height adjustment which changes volume

      • Mac

        True, but if we can get the headsets down to the weight of ski goggles I’d say the top strap wouldn’t be necessary. Perhaps a ways off, but for tethered VR I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility.

        • RFC_VR

          The other interesting material innovation that could be applied to HMD design, is the “unobtanium” Oakley use on the contact points of their performance sunglasses. It’s a polymer that becomes more “grippy” as you sweat, to stop sunglasses moving around. it’s extremely effective.

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  • Roman

    design fail

  • Lucidfeuer

    Wow, wow, this is a big miss on you R2VR. For a second I thought you wouldn’t even mention Nonobject concept given your infuriatingly false “unique split design” title.

    They literally STOLE the concept from Nonobject. This is going to serve as a great case study for my colleagues and people I work or meet of how throwing concepts in the nature is a garanteed way to give corporation money and patents they will of course unscrupulously steal.

    Disappointed that you don’t even mention that.

  • Interesting design, for sure. Even if I ask myself if continuously opening and closing the device could not lead to a break