Report: Apple's MR Headset Said to Include 120-Degree FOV, Waist-mounted Battery & Tons of Biometric Trackers – Road to VR

Report: Apple's MR Headset Said to Include 120-Degree FOV, Waist-mounted Battery & Tons of Biometric Trackers – Road to VR
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    Apple’s long-awaited mixed reality headset is still deep under wraps, although a recent report from The Information has shed what appears to be new light on some of the features coming to the fruit company’s first AR/VR headset.

    There’s a lot of new information here, and of course, we can’t substantiate it even if we tried. We’ve restructured the main takeaways, courtesy of MacRumors, into a sort of fantasy spec sheet:

    Reported Apple MR Specs

    • Resolution: Dual Micro OLED displays at 4K resolution (per eye)
    • FOV: 120-degrees, similar to Valve Index
    • Chipset: Two 5nm chips. Includes a main SoC (CPU, GPU, and memory) and a dedicated image signal processor (ISP). Chips communicate via a custom streaming codec to combat latency.
    • Battery: Waist-mounted battery, connected via MagSafe-like power cable to the headset’s headband. Two-hour max battery life, although hotswappable for longer sessions.
    • PassthroughISP chip contains custom high-bandwidth memory made by SK Hynix, providing low latency color passthrough
    • Audio: H2 chip, providing ultra-low latency connection with the second-generation AirPods Pro and future AirPods models. No 3.5mm and possible no support for non-AirPod BT headphones.
    • Controller: Apple is said to favor hand-tracking and voice recognition to control the headset, but it has tested a “wand” and a “finger thimble” as alternative control input methods.
    • Prescription Lenses: Magnetically attachable custom prescription lenses for glasses-wearers.
    • IPD Adjustment: Automatic, motorized adjustment to match the wearer’s interpupillary distance.
    • Eye Tracking: At least one camera per-eye for things like avatar presence and foveated rendering
    • Face & Body Tracking: More than a dozen cameras and sensors capture both facial expressions and body movements, including the user’s legs.
    • Room Tracking: Both short- and long-range LiDAR scanners to map surfaces and distances in three dimensions.
    • App Compatibility: Said to have the ability to run existing iOS apps in 2D.
    • Then there are some design rumors, which don’t fit so well into our fantasy spec sheet. The Information says it has reconfirmed these previously reported rumors.

      Design Rumors

      • Outer Shell: Aluminum, glass, and carbon fiber to reduce its size and weight. Cameras are largely concealed for aesthetic reasons.
      • Presence Displays: Outward-facing display can show user’s facial expressions and also presumably eye movements. Said to be an always-on display similar in latency and power draw of Apple Watch or iPhone 14 Pro.
      • Dedicated Passthrough Switch: Digital Crown-like dial on its right side to switch between VR and passthrough.
      • Headstrap: Various available, including consumer-focused headstrap similar in material to Apple Watch sport bands with built-in speakers. Unspecified, but different headstrap targeted at developers.

      Apple supplier Pegatron is said to have already assembled “thousands of prototype units of the headset” over the course of 2022 at its Shanghai-based facility.

      According to four people with knowledge of the matter, The Information reports that Apple could price its MR headset around $3,000 or more depending on its configuration.

      The report maintains the headset was initially supposed to launch in 2022, although by now it’s clear it’s obviously been delayed. A previous Bloomberg report alleged this was due to “overheating, cameras and software” having been stumbling blocks along the way to launch.

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