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Apple’s Mixed Reality AR/VR Headset to Feature Digital Crown, Waist-Mounted Battery Pack: Report

Apple has remained relatively quiet on its mixed reality headset, which is tipped to be launched this year, but there have been enough patents filed and leaks to confirm that the iPhone maker has conducted extensive research into the first of many Augmented Reality (AR) wearables. The headset was already expected to be extremely light, which could be due to the battery being worn around the waist, as explained in a new report which adds that the selection of materials used includes aluminium, carbon fibre, and glass.

The Information reports that Apple’s Virtual Reality (VR) solution will have a hot-swap battery design, which will make the reported one-to-two-hour battery life less irksome. The field of view is said to be 120 degrees, which is greater than most VR headsets, while a very high-resolution display with thin optics is also anticipated, according to the report, which cites multiple persons who have worked on the purported device.

Although speakers may be built into the headband, Apple’s H2 chip may feature on the device, to provide an ultra-low latency connection to Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 truly wireless earphones.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been enthusiastic about his endorsement of AR as the technology of the future, so a colour passthrough is a given, according to the report. Switching to a mixed reality view is said to be accomplished by rotating a digital crown like the one found on the Apple Watch and AirPods Max.

Cook stated in a 2022 interview with Dutch publication Bright that AR technology is “profound” and will have an impact on everything around us. He has critiqued VR in comparison to AR.

“It’s [Metaverse] something you can really immerse yourself in. And that can be used in a good way. But I don’t think you want to live your whole life that way. VR is for set periods, but not a way to communicate well. So, I’m not against it, but that’s how I look at it,” Cook was quoted saying.

Among the most intriguing aspects of the report is the claim that iOS apps will be able to run in a two-dimensional view in Apple’s AR/VR headset. If true, this would provide instant access to a large number of apps while developers create apps specifically for the new headset.

Apps will be created with Apple’s Reality Kit software, as per the report, but the immensely popular Unity developers kit may also be supported. Because this would be Apple’s first VR headset, getting enough apps to justify the rumoured $2,000 (roughly Rs. 1,65,800) to $3,000 (roughly Rs. 2,48,700) price of the Apple Reality headset could be difficult.


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