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A patent published today but filed in 2016 shows an Oculus concept for a convertible head-mounted display that can be powered by either a PC or phone.

The patent application 20170364144 from Oculus is listed as invented by Yury Anatolievic Petrov. It covers a head-mounted display said to receive “video input from a stationary computer in a first mode of operation and from a mobile computer in a second mode of operation, and to display images corresponding to the video input.”

Images in the patent application show a variety of potential arrangements including a phone snapped into place behind your head and connected to the head-mounted display with a wire.


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The patent coming from Oculus shows an intriguing arrangement for display and processing of a virtual world. Magic Leap this week showed a head-mounted displaypowered by a processing unit you keep in your pocket. Current VR headsets are typically wired to a nearby PC or console or use a phone as the display. In 2017, the latter option is more accessible but limited in many ways. Oculus is developing a pair of standalones that keep everything in the headset needed to render, track movement and display a virtual world, but is there a benefit to this approach as well? Could a future phone plug into a headset and do more by turning off its display to power VR glasses? How would battery life work in a situation like that?

A patent is obviously not an indication of any future functionality, but it is a notable idea as the world’s biggest tech companies try to figure out how to build the greatest level of immersion into untethered VR and AR headsets.

This story originally appeared on Copyright 2017

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