Rumors that Apple is working on a virtual or augmented reality device have been circulating for many years, but only now The Information has published the most extensive material on the company’s future development. According to a source with direct knowledge of the device, it will have more than ten cameras to track motion and broadcast images in real time. It is also reported that the headset has as many as two displays with a resolution of 8K, which surpasses all solutions currently on the market.
Before getting into the details, it’s worth noting that all information is based on images and information from a source at Apple. Even if this is the case, a lot can change by the time the finished product is announced. While the project hasn’t been officially announced, this is the most detailed information on Apple’s hardware ambitions for VR and AR.
The publication claims that the headset is in the last stages of development and may go on sale as early as 2022. It is rumored to be roughly $ 3,000, so it should come as no surprise that Apple’s first headset will not target a wide audience. It’s more of a mixed reality device for enterprise customers and a direct competitor to Microsoft’s $ 3,500 HoloLens 2.
According to the images of the “late prototype”, which were at the disposal of The Information, Apple’s headset is similar to a traditional VR headset in that it completely blocks the user’s peripheral vision, immersing him in a virtual environment. Only cameras will be used to convey information about the real world by tracking eye and hand movements. Thus, the headset, apparently, will be able to function not only as a virtual reality device, but also as augmented reality. In addition to cameras, the headset will have LiDAR sensors similar to those found in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro. They are needed to measure the distance between objects in the real world, correctly scale and display virtual objects in real space.
The Apple headset will have interchangeable headbands, a proprietary chip, and spatial audio technology similar to those found in the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. In addition, the company may provide a special finger thimble to control the headset.