LG Electronics seems to be working on a new design for a virtual reality head-mounted-display capable of splitting in half with the help of a spring-loaded mechanism. The design was recently filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) but as usual, there’s no guarantee that the HMD in question will become a real product. Nevertheless, it seems that LG hasn’t given up on devising new VR concepts following the unveiling of its first prototype HMD at GDC earlier this year.
LG hasn’t really been one of the most active OEMs in the virtual reality segment so far - at least as far as consumers are concerned - with its initial prototype based on Valve’s SteamVR tracking technology having only been showcased at a couple of events throughout the year, including the more recent Korean VR Festival which took place in September. However, it appears that LG’s new patent revolves around a different concept compared to the previous prototype, in that it seems to be capable of splitting in half between its dual displays using a spring-loaded mechanism. Presumably, the mechanism would be able to securely tighten the head strap for a comfortable wearing experience, and because it lacks an additional strap at the top, the headset could also technically be rested on the user’s neck when not in use. This feature is also related to the second unique characteristic of the patented design, namely the two corded earbuds that seem to be able and retract into the rear of the head strap in a special slot. And because the earbuds are not hard-fitted or screwed into the head strap itself, they can be worn even when the HMD is resting on the user’s neck.
No hardware specifications have unsurprisingly been mentioned by the patent so it’s unclear whether this particular HMD would also take advantage of Valve’s tracking technology employed by the HTC Vive, or rely on a different tracking solution altogether. In recent weeks, the Korean OEM also secured the “UltraGear” moniker which will presumably be the final market name of its first premium VR headset, but there's still no concrete evidence to suggest that this recent patent has any relation to the UltraGear brand. In any case, LG is expected to unveil its full-fledged consumer-grade VR headset at CES 2018 and it remains to be seen whether that device will feature a more unconventional design than what's currently available on the market.