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Apple mixed reality headset features revealed: motors to adjust the lens, priced at up to $3,000

According to The Information, Apple’s mixed reality headset will have a physical dial for trying to switch to the real world and a small motor that automatically adjusts its lenses.

The report claims to reveal a number of previously unheard-of features of the headset, including

A digital crown-like subdial on its right side allows users to quickly switch between the virtual and physical worlds. Unlike the Apple Watch, it will not provide haptic feedback.

While there were rumors that the headband would be interchangeable with the Apple Watch band, this is no longer the case as engineers face technical challenges with the headband acting as a “power conduit” for the headset.

The prescription lenses, customized for eyeglass wearers, can be magnetically attached.

Small motors automatically adjust their lenses to fit the wearer’s interpupillary distance, providing the largest possible field of view for each individual.

The 120-degree field of view is larger than the 106-degree field of view of the Meta Quest Pro and Valve Index.

The H2 chip is used for ultra-low latency connectivity with the second-generation AirPods Pro.

Two chips are on board, including a main SoC with CPU, GPU and memory, and a dedicated image signal processor. Both are built on a 5nm process, and these chips communicate through a custom streaming codec that Apple was forced to develop due to unacceptable latency.

A dedicated ISP translates distorted images captured by the external camera into faithful video of the user’s surroundings with low latency. The chip contains custom high-bandwidth memory manufactured by SK Hynix.

User input is expected to come primarily from gesture and voice recognition.

The Information also independently confirmed the existence of features previously reported by sources such as Bloomberg, Nikkei Asia and DigiTimes.

The headset includes a large, ultra-outward facing display on the front of the device that shows the headset wearer’s facial expressions to those around them, seeking to reduce the feeling of isolation when using the device.

The outward-facing display features an ultra-low refresh rate and low power consumption, much like the all-weather displays of the Apple Watch and iPhone 14 Pro.

The internal display has 4K resolution per eye, using a Micro OLED panel made by Sony, and the overall composition is 8K images.

Each eye is tracked by at least one camera, allowing the headset to accurately track whether the user is staring at the avatar. Eye tracking also enables the headset to perform recessed rendering to save power and render full-resolution images only directly where the user is looking.

More than a dozen cameras and sensors capture facial expressions and body movements, including the user’s legs. Apple eliminated the cameras that capture eyebrow and chin movements when it developed machine learning to accomplish this task.

Equipped with short- and long-range LiDAR scanners that map surfaces and distances in 3-D space.

Apple supplier PEGATRON, which assembled thousands of prototypes of the headset at a factory near Shanghai last year, has passed multiple prototype stages and entered engineering validation testing, the report said.

In addition, Apple has discussed pricing for the headset at around $3,000 (about RMB 20,730) or more, depending on its configuration, according to four people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Information. The product is made of ultra-premium components and materials such as aluminum, glass and carbon fiber, and is said to be thinner and lighter than the just-announced Meta Quest Pro.

Gaming is not expected to be the primary use case for the product, and Apple “sees video conferencing as a potential killer application” for virtual conversations using digital avatars. Some groups within Apple are working on educational content for augmented reality, and iPhone apps will also run in an overlaid 2D format.

The release date for Apple’s first mixed reality headset is still unclear and is expected to be officially released sometime this year.

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Threza Gabriel
Threza Gabrielhttps://www.techgoing.com
TechGoing is a global tech media to brings you the latest technology stories, including smartphones, electric vehicles, smart home devices, gaming, wearable gadgets, and all tech trending.
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