A paywalled report from The Information says that Apple’s AR/VR headset will have more features (opens in new tab). Even though the article says that the headset is still going through engineering validation to finish the design and that the features are not yet set in stone, it gives us some interesting information about how Apple is dealing with the challenges of making its first virtual/augmented reality headset.
For example, according to reports, the headset will have a dial that lets you switch between full VR and AR pass-through modes. As a mixed reality headset, we were curious about how Apple would handle switching modes, and a physical switch seems like a neat way to solve the problem.
Another thing to think about is how to make sure users can see what’s on the internal displays of the headset, taking into account their different vision needs. The Information says that Apple is adding motorized lenses to the headset so that it can automatically adjust for a person in the background. Still, I hope there will still be manual adjustments.
A Separate Pack of Batteries?
The headset seems to get its power from a separate battery pack that is connected to a cable. The power source isn’t built into the headset like it is in the Meta Quest 2 or the Meta Quest Pro. This makes the Apple headset lighter to wear, but it also makes it harder to use.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve heard a lot of different rumors about the Apple AR/VR headset. It seems clear at this point that the headset could have two 4K micro-LED displays, a unique outer display to show the user’s face to others, AirPods integration for when the built-in speakers aren’t enough (but only for models with the H2 chip, like the AirPods Pro 2), and an Apple M2 chip to run everything.
Expect to pay around $3,000 to be able to use this headset. Users who think that price is too high, which is probably most of us, might be better off waiting for the rumored Apple Glasses, which will have some of the same features but will be much cheaper.
People still think that the Apple AR/VR headset will come out in 2023, possibly near the end of the year. Since this is Apple’s first completely new product in a few years, you can expect a big event to show it off, whenever that may be.