Apple’s Mixed Reality Headset: Five Rumored Technologies and Features

Apple Mixed Reality Headset Credit: Antonio DeRosa
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Think the Oculus Quest 2 is good? Just wait until you see what Apple has up its sleeves. It’s virtually a fact at this point that the Cupertino company is working on augmented reality and virtual reality devices behind closed doors.

The latest rumors suggest the company is developing a high-end headset that could debut as soon as 2022. But what will Apple pack into its first AR/VR device? Continue reading to find out.

Eye-Tracking

Apple’s virtual reality unit may include eye-tracking that’ll enhance the virtual reality experience by tracking where the user is looking. This eye-tracking could be used as an alternative form of control.

Apple may also use this technology to adjust the resolution of the user’s field of view. The company may equip the headset with 8K resolution-capable displays that are full-quality where the user is looking. This resolution can then be dialed down in the user’s peripheral field of view.

Dual-Purpose Cameras

Apple’s virtual reality headset is rumored to include up to a dozen cameras that’ll serve a dual purpose. First, the camera will be used for tracking hand movements that are translated into virtual reality. The camera also lets the user see the real-world outside the headset. This mixed reality view makes it possible for a user to interact with virtual reality items without tripping over objects in their surroundings.

Ultra-High-Resolution 8K Displays Per Eye

Apple plans to push the envelope with an 8K display for each eye, beating out the 2K display of the high-end Hololens 2 from Microsoft. An 8K display may be an energy hog, but Apple may have a solution to reduce its power consumption.

As noted previously, Apple may be using eye-tracking technology to show 8K resolution to only those areas where the user is looking. The rest of the display will be downscaled to save power.

Spatial Audio

Like Apple’s AirPods Pro, the rumored virtual reality headset may have spatial audio that adjusts the sound according to your head’s orientation. Apple may embed this feature into a headband that is equipped with speakers.

Replaceable Headbands

According to a report from The Information, Apple’s virtual reality headset may include a “sleek, curved visor attached to the face by a mesh material and swappable headbands.”

Like its iPhones and cases, Apple may make these headbands available in a variety of colors. Apple also may offer advanced headbands with batteries for longer usage or one with speakers for immersive audio.

How Much Will It Cost?

Apple’s virtual reality headset is targeted towards the professional user and not the casual gamer. Rumors suggest the headset will debut with a $3,000 price tag which is 100 times more expensive than the popular Quest 2 headset from Oculus.

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