To match Apple’s Mac capabilities, Apple’s future AR/VR mobile will be a standalone device with strong A-series CPUs. According to patent records, Apple has been experimenting with virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for over 20 years. Apple’s foray into virtual and augmented reality is becoming more serious with the introduction of ARKit, and an AR/VR mobile is expected in 2022 or 2023.
Mixed reality, which blends augmented reality and virtual reality, will be enabled by Apple’s first headgear. While augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are related to technology, their applications are vastly different.
Virtual reality is a fully immersive experience in a virtual environment, whereas augmented reality overlays virtual components on your real-world vision. The actual world is frequently turned off in virtual reality encounters to focus on the virtual experience.
Virtual reality is most commonly associated with gaming, but it can also be used to imitate real-life situations for educational and training reasons. It allows viewers to feel as if they are genuinely experiencing what is happening in the simulated world through visual, tactile, and audio feedback.
While augmented reality is less interesting than virtual reality in that it enhances rather than replaces reality, it has a broader range of applications and appears to be the technology that Apple is most enthusiastic about. Apple’s headgear will support both augmented and virtual reality, a technology known as mixed reality.
Apple’s AR/VR mobile will resemble a variety of already available AR/VR mobile, including Facebook’s Oculus Quest virtual reality headset. The Information has seen a prototype, and several design features have been leaked in rumors, so we know what to anticipate. To provide a comfortable fit, the headset will be made of textiles and lightweight materials. It sports a “sleek, curving visor linked to the face through mesh material and swappable headbands,” according to the description.
The headset will be kept on the wearer’s head by a rear band made of a material similar to that of an Apple Watch band, and a soft mesh will make the fit good against the front of the face. Headbands may be replaced and the size adjusted.
One headband, the AirPods Pro, is stated to offer spatial audio technology for a surround-sound experience, while another is believed to offer longer battery life when traveling. The headset would be able to respond to the wearer’s eye movements and hand gestures if it had a tactile dial on the visor’s side in one version.
Price & Performance
According to a Friday rumor, Apple’s rumored AR/VR headset is experiencing issues owing to overheating, camera, and software issues, which may force the firm to postpone its Mixed Reality headset launch this year. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg has updated his coverage on the product.
According to Gurman, Apple’s augmented reality/virtual reality headgear will be “expensive.” Despite expert predictions that the device will cost about $3,000, Bloomberg’s writer claims in his monthly Power On newsletter that Apple had considered price ranges higher than $2,000 for the device.
Apple usually charges somewhat higher pricing than its competitors, ensuring profit margins that have helped it become one of the world's most lucrative consumer electronics companies. Although the new headgear will not be an exception, some of the company's internal technologies are the primary reason for discussing price tags exceeding $2,000 in the first place.
Furthermore, Gurman has stated that the M1 Pro CPU – or something similar – will very certainly be utilized in Apple’s next AR/VR headset. He explains why he believes this will happen today.
The gadget will, in my opinion, have two processors, one of which will be identical to the M1 Pro present in the MacBook Pro. The expenses start to build up when you incorporate several screens, such as super-high-resolution 8K panels, adjustable prescription glasses, and sophisticated audio technology. Not to mention the internal development costs that must be repaid over a seven-year period. (…) In my opinion, the Apple headset's CPU will be on par with the M1 Pro, making it superior to the M1. The faster CPU isn't the only advantage of the M1 Pro over the M1. It's due to the fact that more complex pictures are necessary. According to the manufacturer, the M1 contains an eight-core GPU, whereas the M1 Pro has 14 to 16 graphics cores.
According to Gurman and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s AR/VR headset would likely be centered on gaming, media consumption, and communication.
Given that it will feature several CPUs, a fan, extremely high-resolution screens, and its own App Store, gaming should be a big focus of the system. The gadget is most likely to be marketed as a game developer's dream by Apple. There's also the issue of media consumption to consider. I believe Apple will collaborate with media partners to generate virtual reality content for the gadget. Then there's the communication problem. The new Zoom is said to incorporate Animojis and a virtual reality version of FaceTime.
More than a dozen optical cameras will be built inside the helmet to catch hand movements, map the surroundings, and present visual experiences.
According to insiders, eight camera modules would be utilized to provide users with see-through augmented reality experiences, while the remaining six will be used for “novel biometrics.” To detect the environment, a single camera will be used.
Users will be able to “read minuscule letters” and see other individuals standing in front of and behind virtual objects thanks to a pair of eye-detecting cameras.
With pinpoint accuracy, the headgear will be able to map room surfaces, edges, and measurements.
The AR/VR headset will have two Mac-level CPUs, giving it unrivaled computing power in a wearable device. The headset’s CPUs are even more sophisticated than the Apple silicon processors used in Apple’s Mac series and owing to the powerful computers, Apple will allegedly require a 96W power adaptor to charge the headset.
A high-end primary processor, comparable to Apple’s M1 chip, will handle the device’s sensor-related elements, as well as a lower-end processor for managing the device’s sensor-related features. The 4-nanometer chip is the most recent TSMC technology, while the 5-nanometer chip is the older technology.
The headgear’s processing capabilities will be independent of an iPhone or Mac, and it will have its own power and storage.
Apple has completed the development of the AR/VR headset’s SoCs, which will be optimised for wireless data transfer, video compression, and decompression, as well as power efficiency for long battery life. They will not, however, contain a neural engine like some of Apple’s other CPUs.
The new operating system for the AR/VR mobile is rumored to be called “rOS,” which stands for Reality Operating System.
Apple intends to provide an App Store for the headset, with the main categories being gaming, streaming video entertainment, and video conferencing. According to Bloomberg, it’s an “all-encompassing 3-D digital environment” for gaming, media consumption, and communication. Apple may work with media businesses to produce virtual reality content, including a virtual reality FaceTime experience with Animojis and other features.
Apple’s current services, such as Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade, should operate with the headgear.