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 LetsGoDigital, shows 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.
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.