Apple is reportedly set to unveil its highly anticipated VR/AR headset later this year, and the latest round-up of technical details from The Information has many tech enthusiasts buzzing with excitement. The device, which has been in development for several years, is expected to feature 4K micro-LED displays for each eye, an outward-facing screen that displays the user’s facial expressions to others, and up to a dozen cameras and sensors powered by the M2 chip.
One of the more interesting features of the headset is the integration of the H2 chip, which supports low-latency transmission and is designed to work in collaboration with the H2 chip inside the latest-gen AirPods Pro. While the headset will come with built-in speakers, The Information suggests that Apple may require the use of AirPods for communication purposes in order to preserve privacy. This would mean that only the latest-generation AirPods Pro (which also feature the H2 chip) would be compatible with the headset, as other wireless headphones may not be able to keep up with the real-time nature of the device.
In addition to its impressive tech specs, the VR/AR headset is expected to be priced at around $3,000, thanks to its ultra-premium components and materials such as aluminum, glass, and carbon fiber. It will also be thinner and lighter than the recently released Meta Quest Pro.
A special alternate headband will be available for developers, likely allowing for the device to be hooked up to a Mac for development. However, it seems that Apple may not be promoting freely-swappable headbands as a feature of the headset, unlike the easily interchangeable bands on the Apple Watch. This is likely due to the fact that the headset headbands are more complicated, as they contain electronic components and batteries.
While gaming may not be the primary use case for the product, Apple is said to be focusing on videoconferencing as a potential “killer app”, with virtual conversations conducted using digital avatars. The company is also said to be working on augmented reality educational content and has tested accessory controllers such as a “thimble” and “wand”. However, it’s unclear if these plans are still ongoing. iPhone apps will also be able to run in an overlaid 2D format on the headset.
The Information also mentions that the headset will come equipped with a physical dial similar to the Apple Watch digital crown, which will allow users to enter passthrough video mode and see the outside world through the screens. User input is expected to come mainly from hand gestures and voice recognition.
Overall, it’s clear that Apple’s VR/AR headset is shaping up to be a highly advanced and innovative product that is sure to generate a lot of buzz when it finally hits the market. The combination of cutting-edge tech specs, real-time communication capabilities, and a focus on videoconferencing make it a unique and exciting offering in the world of virtual and augmented reality. While the $3,000 price tag may be steep, it seems that Apple is pulling out all the stops to deliver a high-quality and fully-featured product for consumers. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this highly anticipated device.