New details about Apple’s often-rumoured AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) headset have leaked, this time courtesy of The Information.
According to the often-reliable source of Apple leaks, the tech giant’s upcoming AR/VR headset will feature more than a dozen cameras for tracking hand movements, two high-resolution 8K displays and advanced eye-tracking technology.
These cameras will also be used to pass video of the real world through the headset to create a “mixed-reality effect.”
The Information says it saw a “late-stage prototype” design image of the headset last year that shows off a “sleek, curved visor attached to the face by a mesh material and swappable headbands.”
Apple’s headset will reportedly feature one headband that includes a Spatial Audio-like feature that creates a surround sound-like experience, with another swappable band offering additional battery life. Just like the AirPods Max, the headset’s ear cushions will be easily swappable. It’s unclear if the headset will come with both bands or if only one will need to be selected when you buy the device.
Regarding control, Apple is rumoured to be developing a few different methods, including a “thimble-like device to be worn on a person’s finger,” and responding to eye movements and hand gestures. There’s also a prototype of the headset that features a physical dial on its side for navigation, similar to Samsung’s dead Gear VR platform.
In terms of price, The Information says that the current estimated cost at Apple is $3,000 USD (roughly $3,852 CAD). This places its price slightly under Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, which costs $4,749 CAD.
Earlier reports from Bloomberg regarding Apple’s AR/VR headset indicated that it could be ready for release as early as next year. This rumour also details a built-in fan coupled with a processor more powerful than the current M1 Mac chip.
Given Apple’s reputation for taking established technology and building on it in meaningful and often interesting ways, I’m excited to see the tech giant’s take on an AR/VR headset. That said, nearly $4,000 CAD is a steep price tag for any tech product and will be a significant barrier for the average consumer.
Image credit: The Information