Apple’s mixed reality headset could launch with an advanced eye-tracking system
Apple is said to be working on its mixed reality headset and while it won’t launch before 2022, we do have some alleged information about the product. As per popular Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company’s upcoming mixed reality headset is going to feature an advanced eye-tracking system.
“Apple’s eye-tracking system includes a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitting end provides one or several different wavelengths of invisible light, and the receiving end detects the change of the invisible light reflected by the eyeball and judges the eyeball movement based on the change,” said Kuo (via MacRumors). He also says that most AR, VR, and mixed reality headsets rely on handheld controllers for the operation which doesn’t always mean a smooth experience. An eye-tracking system, like the one Apple is going to use, can be the key to an intuitive visual experience that interacts seamlessly with the external environment, a more intuitive operation that can be controlled with eye movements, and a reduced computational burden in the form of a reduced resolution where the user is not looking. There hasn’t been any rumor or speculation around an iris recognition feature but according to Kuo, based on hardware specifications, the possibility of an iris recognition feature should not be ruled out. This could go on to be used as a “more intuitive Apple Pay method” when using the headset.
Last month, The Information had also shared some info about Apple’s mixed reality headset. The report claimed that the headset will feature over a dozen cameras for tracking hand movements, with two ultra-high-resolution 8K displays and advanced eye-tracking technology. These cameras would basically show the user a video of the real world through the visor. A late-stage prototype of the headset from last year suggests a sleek, curved visor attached to the face by a mesh material and swappable headbands. Apparently, each headband would offer different functionality, like one would feature spatial audio technology similar to the AirPods Pro for a surround sound-like experience, while another headband would provide additional battery life. It is also possible that these headbands will be offered in a variety of colors and will be easy to replace just like the ear cushions on the AirPods Max.
Another report by Bloomberg mentions that Apple’s headset would primarily be a virtual reality device offering a 3D environment for gaming, videos, and communication. While AR functionality will be limited, Apple plans to include powerful processors to handle the gaming features.
If you are looking forward to Apple’s mixed reality headset, be prepared to wait until the next year. AR, VR, and mixed reality could be the conversation for the coming years, with Facebook offering a look at its wristband controller-based vision, and Sony also giving a preview of its PSVR controllers.
Featured Image Credits: Concept Apple VR Headset from Antonio De Rosa