Apple’s Mixed-Reality Headset – Gets More Specifics

Apple Inc.’s long-awaited mixed-reality headset creates a 3D version of the iPhone’s OS. The eye-and-hand-tracking systems can distinguish the technology from competitors. The device will switch between AR and VR and have an interface like that of an iPhone

The Long-awaited headset can display Mac display and immersive video

The roughly $3,000 device is expected to be released later this year under the likely name Reality Pro. It will take virtual meetings to a whole new level. The gadget is aiming to shake up the VR industry, which is currently dominated by Meta Platforms Inc. The company needs to impress customers. Apple is entering an uncertain market with a high-priced product.

Apple has been working on the project for more than seven years. The company is counting on it to become a new revenue source. Especially with sales growth expected to slow this year. But virtual reality has proven to be a challenge for even the most powerful technological titans.

Though some estimates put the industry at more than $100 billion by the end of the decade. Experts still believe that headsets are niche items. So far, Meta has lost billions in its efforts.

Apple Mixed Reality Headset

Apple’s goal is to introduce something new to the market. According to users, the eye- and hand-tracking capabilities will be a major selling point for the device. This will raise the cost of is expected to cost roughly twice as much as rival devices. Its main features will be advanced videoconferencing and meeting rooms based on FaceTime.

The headset will also be able to display immersive video content. It will act as an external display for a connected Mac and mimic many iPhone and iPad functions.

Here’s How It Works

The headset will have several external cameras that can analyze the user’s hands. It can also analyze sensors within the device’s housing that can read the user’s eyes.

This allows the wearer to control the device by looking at an on-screen item to select it. It may be a button, app icon, or list entry.

Users will then be able to activate the task by pinching their thumb and index finger together. They will not be required to hold anything. Other headsets, which rely on a hand controller, take a different approach.

Apple’s device, like Meta’s latest headset, will use both virtual and augmented reality. Users see images and content within the goggles when using VR. AR superimposes digital content over real-world views.

The headset will feature two ultra-high-resolution displays. They are developed in collaboration with Sony Group Corp. to handle VR and a collection of external cameras to enable an AR “pass-through mode.”

This means that users will see the real world through the cameras on the headset. Apple will provide users with prescription glasses with custom lenses. They will be housed within the enclosure itself.

The device, like the Apple Watch, will have a Digital Crown that allows users to switch between VR and AR. The wearer is completely immersed in VR. When AR is enabled, the content fades back and is surrounded by the user’s real-world surroundings. Apple expects this to be a highlight of the product.

Given that the headset is still months away from release, some features may be canceled or changed. But one thing is for sure. Headsets coupled with a high-speed internet, will take the gaming experience to the next level.


Apple’s Launch Plan

Apple intends to unveil the device as early as this spring, though the timetable is subject to change. This would allow the company to discuss the product at its annual software developer conference in June.

As with some of Apple’s previous big bets, the company intends to take it at a slower pace. It intends to begin early production of the device in China as early as February. It is considering launching the product only in the United States in the early stages.

The product’s appeal is also expected to be limited by the price. Apple is already working on a lower-cost version. It could be released in late 2024 or early 2025 and cost less than $1,500. The same as Meta charges for its reality headsets.

Apple anticipates selling approximately 1 million units of its new headset in its first year. In an unusual move, it is also not planning to make a profit on the initial version. The company indicates that it is viewing the platform as a long-term investment.

The immersive video will be the main selling feature of the device. Apple is in talks about developing VR

The New Device Will Focus on Immersive Video Viewing

Apple has spoken with a half-dozen media partners, including Walt Disney Co. and Dolby Laboratories Inc., about developing VR content for the platform. And the tech giant is working on updating its own Apple TV+ material to work with the headset.

Apple purchased streaming company NextVR in 2020 as part of the push, intending to create sports content in VR. The device will also have productivity features, such as the ability to function as an external monitor for a Mac.

Users can see their Mac’s display in virtual reality while still controlling the computer with their input devices. The operating system for the headset, dubbed xrOS, will have many of the same features as an iPhone or iPad, but in 3D. The Safari web browser, photos, mail, messages, and the calendar app are all included.

It will also include apps for the company’s services, such as the App Store. This will allow users to install third-party software, Apple TV+, music, and podcasts. The company is also working on health-tracking features. All you need is a good and stable internet connection to get the max out of the gadget.

Apple users should recognize the experience. When they put on the headset, the main interface will be identical to that of the iPhone and iPad. It will have a home screen and a grid of reorganizable icons.

The Headset Experience

Users will be able to pin widgets to their app icons, such as the weather, calendar appointments, email, etc. Third-party developers are expected to make gaming a popular offering. Apple has created its underlying engine to power VR games.

In 2017, Apple released ARKit and other tools to assist developers in creating augmented reality experiences for the iPhone. This paved the way for programmers to create apps, games, and services for the headset.

The Apple device will include a variant of the M2 chip found in the company’s most recent Macs. I will also have dedicated graphics and a mixed-reality processor. According to trademark applications filed by the tech giant, the second chip will be dubbed the Reality Processor.

Yet, making the processors powerful enough raised another concern of the device overheating. To address this issue, Apple decided to move the battery from inside the headset to an external pack.

The word “compact” refers to the size of the package. Another change is the addition of a cooling fan, like those found on high-end Macs.

To show the new headset, Apple is developing a “store within a store” concept. It is a section of its retail outlets dedicated to demonstrating the product.

The company did something similar when it introduced the Apple Watch. Which has since become the centerpiece of a $41 billion division. The first headset will be made of aluminum, glass, and cushions, like Apple’s $550 AirPods Max headphones.

The device will have a curved screen on the front that can show the wearer’s eyes outwardly. It will have speakers on the sides, and a headband to help fit the device around the user’s head.

This will be in contrast to rival products’ plastic designs, which strap the device to the wearer with many bands. Apple now hopes that the headset’s sci-fi-like interface will make it a success.



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