Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Apple AR/VR headset: More features and price of Reality Pro revealed

Apple’s first AR/VR headset is not expected to launch until the spring of this year. But a new report is now casting more light on the biggest selling points of the forthcoming ‘Reality Pro’ based on the new XR platform. Here are some of the best features we might see from the Apple-branded mixed-reality device.

We already learned that the iPhone-maker could come with low latency audio when coupled with AirPods Pro 2 headphones alongside eye-tracking capabilities to its mixed reality headset. Bloomberg is listing more possible features such as using the headset as an external Mac display and air gestures without the use of controllers.

Apple Reality Pro’s 3D gestures and display functionality

As stated in the report, the device can serve as a Mac display on which users will virtually see the content of the computer while still being able to use the actual keyboard or mouse. Presumably, users can expand the view of the Mac PC inside the VR and perform extended tasks. It is also mentioned that an iPhone or iPad can work as an input method when typing texts.

Apple is said to offer 3D gestures like typing in mid-air or using pinching to activate apps without the use of physical controllers. These will be enabled by external cameras to track the movements of the hands while the internal array of sensors will read the user’s eyes and facial expressions. However, it wasn’t clear if these features will be available at launch or added through later software updates.

Apple's eye tracking feature on Glasses or MR headset
Apple Glasses eye tracking technology detailed in a patent / © Patently Apple

Apple XR OS content

Besides tapping the Mac, the headset will get first-party services and apps through the XR operating system ranging from messages and mail to Apple TV and more. It added that the Cupertino firm has developed its own mixed reality engines to accommodate VR gaming. Apple may also introduce gaming accessories to supplement the experience.

The source states that Apple believes that immersive video will be a major advantage of the Reality Pro. For instance, a wearer can recreate a cinema setup when watching a video or overlay and customize backgrounds. Accordingly, realistic FaceTime video calls with the rendering of a full body could also debut.

Apple's finger sensor and hand controller for AR VR headset
Apple’s advanced finger-mounted sensor could enable air gestures and extended haptics shown in a patent filing / © Patently Apple

Extended battery life and AR-VR switch on Reality Pro

In terms of design, the first Apple headset is tipped to be made of aluminum and glass. It will sport a curved external screen to optionally show the wearer’s eyes. At the same time, there will be a digital crown similar to Apple’s Watch Ultra or Watch 8 utilized in switching views between an AR or VR environment.

Battery life is one of Apple’s concerns according to the publication. The company plans to overcome this by using external battery packs apart from the built-in battery of the wearable that is installed on the strap. Weirdly enough, the juice bricks are designed to fit in the user’s pockets and connect via a cable going to the headset. Each pack is rated to last 2 hours between charges.

How much will the Apple ‘Reality Pro’ mixed reality headset cost?

Per rumors, the Apple AR/VR headset will be priced at about $3000, which is double the cost of the Meta Quest Pro. Considering the premium positioning, it is said that Apple intends to manufacture only a limited quantity at the start. As such, they will be able to gauge the reception of consumers and adjust the development of the succeeding models including the fully augmented Glass and cheaper version of the VR headset.

What are you looking forward to seeing most from the first Apple headset? We’d like to hear your thoughts.


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