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Apple AR / VR headset details revealed: iOS-like interface, tracks eyes and hands, and more

Apple’s AR / VR headset, which has been in development for years, is set to launch in 2023, and the buzz and rumors about it are becoming intense. In its latest article, Bloomberg shares information about the headset’s interface-supported apps and more.

The interface is similar to iOS.

The Bloomberg article that Apple’s first AR / VR headset is similar to iOS in terms of interface, with many of the features found on the iPhone and iPad.

The headset can also be connected to a Mac device and used as an external display. Users will be able to see their Mac desktop in VR, and they will be able to use a physical keyboard and trackpad/mouse to control their Mac from within VR.

Apple’s first AR/VR headset will offer a familiar main interface similar to that of the iPhone and iPad, with rearrangeable app icons and customizable widgets.

The main selling point is tracking the eyes and hands

Bloomberg reports that the biggest selling point for Apple’s first AR / VR headset is the ability to track the eyes and hands.

According to Bloomberg, wearers will be able to select it by looking at items on the screen and then using gestures to activate items on the screen to control headset interactions. Unlike other headset options, Apple will not rely on physical controllers.

Switchable augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

The headset, which will likely be called “Reality Pro” when it launches, will be able to switch between augmented reality and virtual reality. Augmented reality will superimpose virtual objects on top of the real world, while virtual reality will allow the wearer to be fully immersed in a virtual world.

The augmented reality function will operate in pass-through mode, which will use the external camera on the headset, and switching between AR and VR will be done via a control knob similar to a digital crown.

Software ecology.

Apple will focus on video conferencing capabilities. Apple has added FaceTime-based video chat capabilities and meeting rooms. The user’s real face and full body will be rendered in virtual reality for interactive meetings, with realistic avatars available for one-on-one chats. FaceTime with multiple participants will use less detailed icons such as Memoji.

Apple is working with media partners such as Disney and Dolby to develop VR content and update Apple TV+ shows and movies to support the headset. Apple’s goal is to provide viewers with the experience of watching a giant screen in an environment such as a desert or outer space.

Apps will support Apple native apps such as Safari, Photos, Mail, Messages, Apple TV+, Apple Music, podcasts and Calendar, and Apple will also open a dedicated third-party app area on the App Store for the headset.

Corrective lenses.

For those who wear glasses, Apple will offer custom lenses that can fit inside the case, and Apple wants users to wear AirPods so that they can provide a more immersive audio-visual experience.

Use of an external battery

As previously rumored, the headset will come with an external battery pack to prevent the chip inside the headset from overheating and affecting the user’s wear.

The battery is approximately the size of two iPhone 14 Pro Max models stacked on top of each other and will power the headset for approximately two hours. The external battery will allow the user to replace one battery and charge the other to extend the life of the device.

Other configurations

Other rumored AR / VR headset features include a 4K micro OLED display, over a dozen cameras, iris tracking, facial expression detection and more.

Price and release date

The headset has been largely confirmed for a 2023 launch, with previous reports suggesting it will be unveiled at a special spring event this year at the earliest.

The AR/VR headset isn’t aimed at the average consumer and will cost around $3,000 (currently around RMB 20,340).

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