A new Apple patent shows a visual headset that works with an iPhone and wireless headphones, such as the AirPods and AirPods Pro.

A new patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reveals one of Apple's plans for a head-mounted device. While other patents reveal headsets with advanced cameras, face-tracking systems, gaze prediction technologies and the like, this particular patent reveals a head-mounted display that works with an iPhone and wireless headphones like the AirPods.

The new patent, “System Having Device-Mount Audio Mode,” describes a visual headset where an iPhone can be placed, similar to how Samsung's Gear VR works with a Galaxy smartphone. Apple's headset, however, has certain features relating to the use of the AirPods or other wireless headphones.

The head-mounted device (HMD) has a processor that will determine if an iPhone is mounted in the HMD mount. This processor will also determine if the iPhone is currently paired to a set of wireless headphones, and will handle the audio signals the handset sends to and receives from the audio accessory.

The patent states that while the iPhone hasn't been mounted to the HMD yet, the handset or the audio accessory may operate is a “first audio mode.” Patently Apple noted that this “first” mode could be a “normal” or regular mode.

Once the iPhone is mounted in the HMD, the headset will detect that and will cause the handset or audio accessory to work in a “second audio mode.” This mode, Patently Apple noted, could be a “special” mode.

The second audio mode, which is activated only when the iPhone is mounted on the HMD, might have reduced audio latency between the mobile device and the audio accessory. This will minimize audio lag and increase motion-to-sound quality. This means users will hear the appropriate sound that corresponds to what's being shown on-screen at the same time.

Several embodiments illustrate how the feature related to the wireless headphones will work. One embodiment shows that it is possible for the HMD to not have any audio accessory of its own. Another embodiment, however, shows that the HMD can have built-in headphones or earbuds.

Those who are interested to read more about the details can proceed to the patent application here.

Gear VR
Apple's latest patent describes a headset that works with an iPhone and the AirPods. (Pictured: Samsung Gear VR) Reuters/Stefanie Loos