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Mixed reality headset should clearly stand out from the cheaper competition

Again there is news from Mark Gurman via Bloomberg about Apple’s (allegedly) upcoming mixed reality headset, which could be presented later this year.

Mixed Reality (MR) is a term that defines the connection between virtual reality (VR) and the real world. It allows users to integrate virtual objects into the real environment and perform interactions with/them. There are different types of MR systems, such as augmented reality (AR), augmented virtuality (AV) and hybrid reality (HR). According to Gurman, Apple’s praised headset costs a good $3,000 and is called “Reality Pro”. In particular, the Apple headset’s eye and hand tracking capabilities are said to put the competition in the shade.

Of course, the whole thing is also realized via sensors attached to the outside, the eyes of the wearer are recorded accordingly via sensors on the inside. So far nothing that you hadn’t seen with other devices before. So that everyone really has something from the ultra-high-resolution screens of the headset, Apple probably also wants to offer tailor-made lenses for people who wear glasses. A digital crown is also installed, with which you can switch between VR and AR. When AR is enabled, the VR content is hidden and surrounded by the user’s real-world environment. According to Gurman, all of this information comes from Apple’s internal sources, which do not want to be named.

The headset’s FaceTime software is designed to realistically display the user’s face and full body in virtual reality. Due to the necessary hardware requirements, these realistic avatars should only be available within video chats with one person. FaceTime sessions with multiple people are still possible, but additional users will appear as an icon or Memoji – Apple’s custom emoji.

The Meta Quest 2 – here is the headset that Apple wants to outshine

One of the main functions of the headset should also be the immersive viewing of video content. Apple should not only cooperate with Disney and Co. here, its own material on Apple TV+ should also be made suitable for this. However, the speakers on the built-in will not be good enough to deliver truly premium sound, which is probably why the use of AirPods is recommended – even for surround sound. In addition, the headset can be used as an external monitor for a Mac, mouse and keyboard inputs are then transferred directly to the virtual monitor.

The headset’s operating system, called xrOS internally, is intended to view the same features as an iPhone and iPad, but in a 3D environment. This includes the Safari web browser, Photos, Mail, Messages, and the Calendar app. The App Store, Apple TV+, music and podcasts should also be included, and work is also being done on functions for tracking activity data. On request, users are also offered calendar appointments, e-mails or the weather via widgets. Siri or an iPhone, Mac or iPad keyboard are available as input options. A virtual keyboard would also be up for debate, where you basically just type into nothing to do your input.

A current M2 offshoot is to be used as the chipset, which is said to have been christened “Reality Processor”. So that there are no heat problems from the battery when wearing the headset, the battery should be stowed away from the user and connected by cable. At first glance, it sounds like a step backwards. There should also be a fan on the device. Two hours of use should then be possible per battery pack, so one pack is said to correspond to two iPhone 14 Pro Max stacked on top of each other. The first model of the Apple headset is said to be made of aluminum, glass and padding – and is reminiscent of Apple’s AirPods Max headphones. This product will have a curved screen on the front that can face the wearer’s eyes outward, with speakers on the sides and a headband.

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