(Pocket-lint) - It's official: virtual reality headsets are "in".

Although every tech company was jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon last year, it appears the new hot item on trend is virtual reality headsets. Oculus VR was among the first in recent years to make such technology an in-demand thing, but now other companies- like Samsung, Google, and even Panasonic - have entered the game.

And the latest company to take an active interest in virtual reality is none other than Apple. The US Patent and Trademark Office just granted 41 new patents to Apple, for instance, one of which details a VR headset for iPhone. According to PatentlyApple, the patent is about a video headset that uses an iPhone or iPod for its display.

Apple's patent also mentioned remote and exterior controls, the ability to connect to a device’s camera, and the use of haptics and other sensors. Samsung’s Oculus-powered VR headset and Google’s Cardboard are similar devices in that they require a smartphone to not only display virtual reality but also power the experience.

Apple's patent was originally filed five years ago and is not proof that Apple will come out with a VR headset any time soon, but as 9to5Mac pointed out, the company has been eager to hire engineers who work on similar technologies.

Just last winter it was looking for Oculus and Leap experts to work on virtual reality gaming, experiences, and interfaces.

Writing by Elyse Betters.