Apple’s interest in augmented reality (AR) is no secret, with the company having brought its AR platform ARKit to iPhones and iPads and CEO Tim Cook having hailed AR as “critically important” and one of “very few profound technologies”, as quoted by Tom’s Guide.
However, persistent rumours suggest that Apple is preparing something much bigger than ARKit: a headset incorporating not only AR but also the similar technology of virtual reality (VR). Here is a rundown of how the device is said to currently be shaping up in several respects.
What is Apple’s upcoming ‘mixed reality’ headset in a nutshell?
VR is essentially aimed at creating an immersive virtual world for the user to explore. AR is more subtle, as it is intended to simply modify the user’s experience of the real world by overlaying digital elements on the user’s real-world view.
It is said that, physically, the Apple headset will more closely resemble head-worn VR devices like Meta’s Oculus and Sony’s PlayStation VR than Google’s now-defunct Glass, a head-worn AR device.
Functionally, the Apple headset should be at least somewhat akin to Microsoft’s HoloLens – one good example of high-end mixed reality gear. MacRumors describes mixed reality as merging “real-world content and virtual content to produce new environments where physical and digital objects can be viewed and interacted with together.”
A look at nitty-gritty details in the rumours
Apple’s headset looks set to house powerful, Apple-designed processors that would lead the product to rival the Mac line in performance. The Cupertino corporation is also integrating more than a dozen cameras into the enclosure to track hand movements and gestures.
These, along with eye tracking, will provide means of controlling the device – as potentially could worn input devices it has also been suggested Apple is developing.
There’s an app for that – or, indeed, there could be
That’s because Apple also reportedly intends to give the headset its own App Store – with gaming, video streaming and videoconferencing all examples of genres set to be represented in the mooted selection of apps that would be available. They would all run on a new operating system that has been dubbed “rOS” in the press.
Will you need an iPhone to use this headset when it eventually arrives?
Hence, with the headset having been linked with a late-2022 unveil, now could be an especially good time for you to peruse a wide range of cheap iPhones that should have at least some degree of compatibility with the new hardware.