Apple Patents Laser Head-Mounted Display, Sharks Rejoice

Apple has applied for a patent for a laser-based headset to use with its iPod and iPhone. And, unlike most headset displays, which can be bulky due to the light source and optical elements, the Cupertino company has come up with a way of slimming the device down. Here's how.

Apple Patents Laser Head-Mounted Display, Sharks Rejoice

All the image-generation electronics, the laser engine and other optics can be put into a compact, battery-powered box, that can be clipped onto the wearer's belt. Laser-generated video is then transmitted to the headset display via optical cable, before ultra-thin wedge optics display the image in the glasses.

With a thickness of just 2mm on the optical display element, Apple's patent design means that the display could be the same size as a pair of spectacles. When not being used, the optical display elements become transparent, meaning that you can transform the headset from common-or-garden reading glasses to a display in just the flick of a switch. [Unwired View]