Apple’s Upcoming VR headset

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Did you know that the first-ever virtual-reality head-mounted display (HMD) system, called The Sword of Damocles, was invented as early as 1968? Now, rumors say Apple is working on a powerful yet pricey high-end virtual reality headset to debut this 2023.

Apple’s incoming VR headset would have a built-in processor and power supply, as leaks say. It will focus mainly on virtual reality and include some augmented reality features for overlaying visuals on real-world pictures supplied by reality cameras.


Since the Apple VR will have a mix of virtual and reality headsets, it will allow more applications. Learn more about the plans of Apple in their VR headset by reading below.

The Apple’s Secret Project

It has been more than ten years since Apple started to explore virtual and augmented reality technologies based on patent filings. With the booming of virtual and augmented reality because of ARKit launching, Apple’s interests are becoming more serious, leading them to build an AR/VR headset in the near future.

Rumors say Apple has a secret research unit composed of hundreds of employees working on AR and VR. They are trying to find ways to use these technologies in their future products. In the past years, their VR/AR hiring expanded, and they have acquired multiple companies in the AR/VR field.

Dan Riccio, a former Apple hardware engineer chief, started to oversee Apple’s progress on the AR/VR headset earlier this year. The project faced development issues, so they let him focus on this. Meanwhile, Mike Rockwell continues to deal with the daily efforts of the team.

The recent rumors in Apple said that they are currently working on two AR projects- an augmented reality headset set to release in 2022 and a sleeker pair of augmented reality glasses whose launch date is yet to be scheduled. Initially, the focus was on the glasses. However, it seemed to be that the headset would come out first.

Codename N301 Price

Apple’s VR headset, codenamed N301 faced multiple challenges throughout its development. Hopefully, it will begin to recover e costs while the company is working on the AR glasses. The VR headset has an eye-watering price of around $3,000 / £2,200, AU$3,900.

Apple VR Headset Specifications

There are already speculations about its specifications with the plethora of leaks and rumors going around Apple’s VR headset. Here are what you can see on the Apple VR headset:

1. Lightweight

Some of the leaks about the Apple VR headset say it could weigh around 150 grams, which is less than the weight of an iPhone 12. It will also make this headset lighter than the Oculus Quest 2.

With its light design, it is possible not to see all the specifications below in the headset and instead use their patented hologram technology.

2. Dual 8K screens

With tons of leaks circulating about the VR headset, it certainly has a dual 8K display. The 7680 x 4320 resolution, four times as many pixels in a 4K screen, will have more pixels than the Valve Index VR headset that only has 1440 x 1600 pixel displays.

3. Eye-tracking software

If the battery life worries you because of the 8K screens, worry no more as Apple has plans on that. The VR headset will have eye-tracking software that will only activate a specific portion of the screen at the full 8K resolution. It means that other areas will become blurred to save on processing batter, using foveated rendering.

4. LiDAR scanning

If the battery life worries you because of the 8K screens, worry no more as Apple has plans on that. The VR headset will have eye-tracking software that will only activate a specific portion of the screen at the full 8K resolution. It means that other areas will become blurred to save on processing batter, using foveated rendering.

This tool is excellent for AR because it will allow more accurate map virtual constructs onto real-life objects. Moreover, it is also helpful in VR to map out a room and ascertain the safe space encompassing a user.

5. Wearable controller

Another feature that the Apple VR headset may have is the wearable controller that can track finger movements. The "Self-Mixing Interferometry- Based Gesture Input System,” filed as a new patent, tracks the user’s hand movements through rings attached to the thumb and index finger.

6. 3D finger modeling and in-air gesture recognition

Apple also has a patent related to 3D modeling of fingers for in-air gesture recognition. It is a system capable of using virtual limbs in navigating virtual environments. It refers to both finger gestures and visual touch detection.

This finger tracking program may be new, but its result is similar to the tracking software in VR headsets like Oculus Quest 2.

Conclusion

With the rumored hefty price of Apple’s VR headset, there is so much to expect from it. From its lightweight design down to its 3D finger modeling and in-air gesture recognition. Indeed, these mentioned specifications above were just mere leaks and rumors as of the moment. Nothing yet is sure about N031.

Sources:
  • https://www.verdict.co.uk/history-virtual-reality-timeline/
  • https://www.macrumors.com/roundup/apple-glasses/
  • https://www.techradar.com/news/apple-vr-headset#:~: text=Apple%20VR%20headset%20release%20date               %20and%20price,2022%2C%20according%20to%20Bloomberg%20sources.
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