Motorola patents mobile phone/ head mounted display hybrid
Various head mounted displays for wearable computing, virtual reality and other applications have been known for some time already. And while prototypes and even commercial models do exist somewhere, none of them have been able to crack a wider consumer market.
Recently the new frontier for the application of head mounted displays started to emerge – mobile phones.
With limited amount of screen real estate, increasing processing and multimedia capabilities of modern handsets, HMDs might make a perfect sense in some cases.
At least in theory.
And mobile vendors are starting to take notice of HMDs in their R&D labs. Recently we saw Apple trying to patent their laser based head mounted display. Now it’s Motorola’s turn, with a phone/HMD hybrid patent application.
The basic idea behind Motorola’s approach – is have two modes of operation for the device. When carrying around – it’s more or less typical clamshell phone with keypad, display and all other phone things.
However when you want to use it in HDM mode, both covers of the handset open, and the phone screen becomes the main part of head mounted display. You can put it on your head like any pair of VR glasses, with headphone parts plugging into your ears and completely isolating you from the environment to fully enjoy movie or gaming experience.
These drawings from Motorola looks pretty crude and funny for now, and will probably never become a reality.
Still, as I said earlier, there some cases, e.g. long flight or train ride, where the HDM capability would make a perfect sense.
And whoever is able to solve the portability and ease of use problems, and make good HDM device at an affordable price, can make a tidy profit.