Renowned Expert Bloomberg Mark Gurman continues to insist on the possibility of a formal announcement of Apple’s augmented reality headset this spring, with later deliveries before the end of the year. The novelty is estimated at 3,000 US dollars and will initially only be offered on the US market, with production in China starting in February. The main difference between the device and its competitors’ products will be an advanced user gesture recognition feature.
As explained a source, the new Apple device’s camera array will face both the outside world and the user’s eyes. By tracking his gaze, the device can understand on which interface element he has stopped, and the mouse click is replaced in this case with a gesture of closing the user’s thumb and forefinger. In the future, cameras will be able to track user manipulations so clearly that they can simulate typing on a “floating” virtual keyboard. At the same time, the augmented reality helmet connects perfectly with Mac family computers, allowing you to control the user interface elements using the computer’s mouse, keyboard and touchpad. Visually, the headset surface is reminiscent of Apple tablets or smartphones. A new xrOS operating system is being developed for the device.
Ultra-high definition displays developed by Sony can display both a purely virtual environment and augmented reality by overlaying virtual elements onto the image of the real world around the user. A quick switch between the operating modes allows you to “turn” the housing, which is reminiscent of the corresponding control of the Apple Watch smartwatch.
A specially adapted version of the FaceTime program for the device allows you to view one of the interlocutors in the form of an avatar with a fairly realistic face and body. Group video calls in this mode are not yet provided due to high hardware requirements, and other interlocutors are displayed as icons or as emoji.
The headset is based on the M2 family processor, which is accompanied by a special chip for working with augmented reality. The aluminum body includes a rigid headband that can be adjusted to the size of the user’s head and soft on-ear headphones. The headset’s stock speakers are inferior to the existing separate Apple headphones in their ability to create an immersive sound environment, so movie-goers will likely prefer the latter. A virtual cinema can be created in an unusual environment like a desert or an open space with a huge screen in front of the user’s eyes.
Apple is already working with content providers to adapt gaming and video applications to the new headset’s capabilities. Particular attention is paid to sports broadcasts with presence impact. Apple customers who require prescription glasses have the option to mount the lenses in the headset.
As mentioned, this device will be launched in the US market later this year at a price of $3,000, and in its first year on the market, Apple expects to sell about a million units. It won’t be until the end of 2024 or 2025 that a simpler and cheaper Apple headset will be allowed to cost around $1,500 and thus compete with meta products.*.
The presence of a sufficiently powerful processor on board forces Apple to use a headset with an active cooling system with a fan. Additionally, the device’s battery life is unlikely to exceed two hours, even when using a fairly large battery placed in a pocket or on the user’s belt. The existing prototypes are equipped with a remote battery about 15 cm long and about 1.5 cm thick.The main highlight of the headset will be the ability to understand gestures and do without special manipulators inherent in most competitors. When Apple unveils its augmented reality headset in the spring, it can talk about application software in June before launching in the fall.
* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations for which the court made a final decision to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for in Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25. 2002 “On Countering Extremist Activities”.