Apple wins patent for a Unique Foldable HMD Headband that supports magnetically attached accessories like a camera, headphones+
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to a possible future Head-Mounted Device (HMD) headband that uniquely folds using a series of magnetics to save space when not in use or when traveling. The magnets in the band can support add-on accessories like an external camera.
Apple's granted patent, that's never been publicly posted as a patent application, covers a headband that can be folded into a storage position and unfolded to a use position. Folding the headband into the storage position allows the head-mounted device to displace less volume when it is not in use. As an example, folding the headband into the storage position allows the head-mounted device to be neatly placed into a storage case that is smaller than it otherwise would be if the headband could not be folded. The headbands disclosed herein include features that help users to fold the headband in the correct way, so that the device can be stored compactly and/or placed in a storage case.
In some implementations, magnetic components are included in the headband to facilitate folding of the headband in a uniform and repeatable manner.
Some or all of the magnetic components may have functions in addition to headband folding and sensing. For example, any of the magnetic components on the headband 108 can be used to mount an external component 124 to the headband 108, as shown in FIG. 1 below. As one example, the external component 124 may be a camera. As another example, the external component 124 may be a battery pack.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 above is a side view illustration showing the head-mounted device of FIG. 1 in the use position; FIG. 3 is a top view illustration showing the head-mounted device of FIG. 1 in a storage position.
Apple later notes that in any of the implementations described, one or more of the magnetic components that are located on each lateral side of the headband may be part of a loudspeaker that is configured to produce sound so that it is heard by the user during display of a computer-generated reality scene to the user. Apple has covered this feature before. In late March 2021, Patently Apple covered a patent relating to magnetic snap-on speakers with images from that patent presented below.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11,320,659.