Apple is preparing to release its first mixed-reality headset next year, marking its entry into a new product category. It has been speculated that the future headgear will be compatible with augmented reality and virtual reality systems and that it will have superior capabilities to those of existing goods.
With its hardware and software, Apple quickly established itself as the market leader in the smartphone, tablet computer, and wearable computer categories with the introduction of the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. We’ve compiled ten features that are expected to distinguish the AR/VR headset from its rivals.
4K Micro-OLED Displays
Sony’s high-resolution 4K micro-OLED screens, which may offer up to 3,000 pixels per inch, are what Apple is utilising. When compared to LCD panels seen in Meta’s new flagship Quest Pro, Apple’s next offerings will be a significant upgrade.
Micro-OLED displays are more power-efficient than LCDs and other alternatives, and they are thinner, smaller, and lighter since they are produced directly onto chip wafers rather than a glass substrate.
To reduce the amount of processing power required to run the gadget, Apple has designed it to filter out peripheral light and alter the display quality for peripheral vision. By including an eye-tracking system, Apple can lower the visual quality of the headset’s edges.
More Than a Dozen Cameras
Apple’s augmented reality/virtual reality headgear is equipped with more than a dozen cameras that will record motion in order to map it to in-game actions. The unusual feature of two downward-facing cameras is expected to provide more precise motion tracking, and this is believed to be the case with the device.
The cameras can accurately map their surroundings, picking up features like walls, doors, and furniture as well as humans and other moving targets. The cameras may also have the ability to track body movement and perform tasks like enlarging tiny text.
The AR/VR headset will include an iris scanner built in, which will read the user’s eye pattern and be used for authentication while making purchases or accessing private information.
The AR/VR headset’s iris scanner will function similarly to Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID on iOS and macOS devices. This capability is not included in competitor headsets like Meta’s new Quest Pro, but it might allow two users to share a single headset.
Facial Expression Tracking
The AR/VR goggles’ cameras will read your expressions and apply them to your digital persona. In the same way that the TrueDepth camera system on the iPhone and iPad enables Memoji and Animoji to mimic your expressions, your virtual avatar will mirror your facial expressions in a number of apps.
Thin and Light Design
Apple’s anticipated AR/VR headset will be fashioned from mesh fabric and metal, making it significantly lighter and thinner than existing mixed-reality headsets. When compared to Meta’s 722-gramme Quest Pro, Apple’s target weight of 200 grammes is significantly lower.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in March 2021 that the existing prototypes weighed between 200 and 300 grammes.
Skin detection and 3D sensor modules will be used to recognise user input such as hand motions. The Apple AR/VR headset will support Apple’s speech assistant, Siri, much like other Apple products. It is unclear what kinds of input techniques we may expect from Apple’s new device, although the company has tried a thimble-like device worn on the finger.
As an added bonus, the headset will come with interchangeable headbands in the style of the Apple Watch, and it will be pleasant to wear thanks to the mesh fabric that covers the area behind the eyepieces.
It has been speculated that one headband would have spatial audio technology, allowing for a virtual surround sound experience, while the other will give more battery life. Headbands with a variety of features are a distinct possibility, however, it is unclear if they will actually reach launch.
Unique App Experiences
An innovative OS codenamed “Reality OS” (or “TOS”) will power the headgear. Apple is developing original software tailored to the VR environment. Apple is rumoured to be working on a virtual reality FaceTime-like experience with Animoji, in which users interact with 3D Animoji or Memoji characters instead of the actual people they’re talking to.
To provide a more natural conversational feel, the headset might use the aforementioned facial expression recognition to read the wearer’s facial expressions and characteristics and adapt them in real-time. Existing services like Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade are likely to interface with the device, and Apple is working with media partners to create VR content.
Recent speculation suggests that Apple is developing a new version of the Messages app tailored to virtual and augmented reality communication, complete with a redesigned home screen and chat groups.
Apple Silicon Chip
Apple’s rumoured augmented reality/virtual reality headgear will reportedly have two M2 processors on par with those found in the Mac, giving it greater processing muscle out of the box than its rivals. Apple’s devices will include a powerful central CPU and a secondary, less powerful processor in charge of the numerous sensors.
Given that it contains not one but two Apple silicon processors, the headset can operate without being tethered to an iOS device or a Mac.
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