Apple stakes a claim over smart headsets

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VR headset
Is Apple about to dive deeper into AR?
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Apple has updated its iCloud trademark to cover “smartglasses” and headsets.

The company has been on a mission to add new devices to many of its filings in recent months, but its latest update is particularly interesting following the introduction of ARKit at WWDC.

ARKit makes it easier for developers to build new apps and games that are more immersive than ever before. It enables our iPhones and iPads to become windows into incredible virtual worlds — but it could be even better.

The experience is somewhat spoiled by having to hold up an iOS device, which becomes uncomfortable over time. It’s the same reason why Apple’s won’t give us Macs with touchscreens. In the future, Apple could give us smart spectacles and headsets to alleviate this problem.

The company’s patents have hinted at such devices in the past, and now it has added “smartglasses” and headsets to an iCloud trademark filing in Hong Kong, according to Patently Apple. It’s a sign that these things could be more than just ideas.

More specifically, the trademark now covers “wearable digital electronic devices capable of providing access to the Internet,” “smartglasses,” and “computer software for setting up, configuring, operating and controlling computers, computer peripherals, mobile devices, mobile telephones, smartwatches, smartglasses…”

This certainly isn’t a promise of things to come, but it’s clearly something Apple has on its mind for the future. Headsets in particular have been incredibly successful in recent years with the rise of virtual reality content, and Apple likely believes that, with ARKit, and can do a better job.