Apple’s VR Headset Could Offer Pass-Through With a Digital Crown

If you want to use an Apple VR headset, you should probably buy an iPhone

Apple is usually tight-lipped about releasing details about anything before the “thing” is officially announced. However, there is no shortage of hype surrounding Apple’s rumored VR/AR headsets.

The latest internet rumors say that the headset will have a digital crown that will allow you to switch between VR and virtual walkthrough. Coming from The Information in January 2023 (and as reported by The Verge ), the headset is expected to offer color passthrough, allowing you to switch between a fully virtual experience and watching your real surroundings through the front-facing camera with a non-haptic knob. on the device (similar to the button on AirPods Max or Apple Watch).

This could be Apple’s way of offering less claustrophobia in the headset, giving the user the ability to look around their real environment without taking the device off, but it could also inform Apple’s XR apps for the device, similar to the Quest. Pro and its virtual desktop screens (shown below).

In August 2022, it was reported that the phone and computer company had filed patent names for what could be its VR/AR headset, according to Bloomberg. Apple didn’t file the applications itself, but it’s similar to Apple’s patent filing strategy it’s done with other products.

“Reality One”, “Reality Pro” and “Reality Processor”. Bloomberg reports that patents have been filed in the US, EU, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica and Uruguay.

There’s no guarantee that these are actually the real names of Apple’s upcoming VR headsets, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is a consistently reliable source of Apple leaks and rumors.

However, in December 2022, more details about the headset were released, including mass shipments of the device that could begin in the second half of 2023 as the company addresses “software-related issues”.

In October 2022, we learned that an unnamed, unannounced device would boast iris tracking. A report in The Information revealed that the headset will look like a pair of ski goggles. It will be made of “mesh fabrics, aluminum and glass” and will be thinner and weigh less than the recently announced Meta Quest Pro.

As detailed by ArsTechnica, the new headset will scan the user’s irises to recognize them and log into their individual accounts the moment they put the headset on. This feature would work for multiple users, making it easier to pass the headset from one person to another, for example. In addition, iris scanning technology will be used to authenticate payments, according to reports.

The VR headset will also reportedly allow users who wear glasses to “magnetically attach prescription lenses inside the headset.”

All of this news builds on what we heard in February 2022.

In June 2022, we heard that the VR/AR headset could arrive as early as January 2023. Although the timeline for Apple’s upcoming headset release is something of a moving target.

Following reports in May 2022 that mentioned trademark filings, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a state of the VR industry blog posted on Medium, predicts that Apple’s entry into the space will be a catalyst for the growth of virtual and augmented reality, dubbing the company “a game changer for the industry headsets”.

In his post, Kuo predicts that Apple will launch an AR/MR (augmented/mixed reality) headset with transparent video that can provide an immersive experience. Apple has focused its efforts primarily on AR, but Kuo says its hybrid headset will “increase demand for immersive gaming/multimedia entertainment.”

According to reports earlier this year, Apple wants it known that it is not interested in following the Meta into the meta when its AR headset is launched.

In a newsletter from Bloomberg’s Gurman, we learned that Apple has rejected the idea of ​​a fully virtual world for its long-hyped mixed reality headset. As you all know by now, an all-virtual world is a prerequisite for a metaverse. According to the report, the very idea of ​​having a similar meta version for a VR headset is “off limits”. Instead, he says Apple’s VR headset will focus on short bursts of communication, content viewing and gaming.

It sounds like Apple CEO Tim Cook won’t be following the lead of Facebook, er, Meta, and just about every other company that has come forward recently to discuss ways they can bring us closer to an ill-defined, ill-conceived future where the physical and digital worlds merge through VR, AR and Mixed Reality.

When we say “mixed reality” we usually mean augmented reality/virtual reality. There are only a few ways the device could look, but since the device hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, we can only assume that it will be a VR headset as you know it, but smothered in Apple. feel.

Although Apple hasn’t confirmed any details about its headset, reports have given a vivid picture of what to expect. The most telling comes from The Information, which cites anonymous sources that the headset will run on TSMC’s 5nm chip (with similar performance to the M1). The headset will reportedly feature two 8K displays, more than a dozen cameras for handheld tracking, and retail for more than $4,000. Oh, this thing is also expected to pack 14 cameras.

But Kuo thinks the company is already working on a second-generation AR/VR headset for a 2025 release, this time with a high-end and more affordable variant.

Initial reports suggested that you might need an Apple iPhone to enjoy the VR headset, but it looks like it will be the same as any other Apple device: the experience Yippee better with iPhone, but not a requirement.

“All eyes will be on Apple as it launches its first headset next year,” IDC research director Ramon Llamas wrote earlier this year. “Further iterations will likely show an evolution that will grow by leaps and bounds.”

Apple’s mixed reality headset has been rumored for over a year now, and we’ll let you know as soon as anything new emerges.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

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