The market for VRwhich appeared in 2016 with the releases of HTC VIVE and of theOculus Rift, has been evolving for a few months now. This is felt through the release of many headsets, the arrival of Chinese competition in the West, but above all through the promotion of mixed reality (MR) which mixes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Of course, nothing official in all this, but let’s take stock of the rumors of the moment.
3D model by Ian Zelbo from the various leaks
List of Rumored New Releases
- The battery would be external, attached to the waist and connected via a MagSafe-style magnetic power cable to the headband of the helmet. It would offer a charge of two hours max with the possibility of changing the battery on the fly to extend its session. The idea of putting the battery directly on the strap (as with all other VR headsets at the moment) has been abandoned.
- Aluminum, glass and carbon fiber design to reduce size and weight. The cameras would be largely concealed for aesthetic reasons.
- A small dial in the shape of a digital crown on its right side would allow users to quickly switch from the virtual to the physical world. Unlike the Apple Watch, there would be no haptic feedback.
- Apple has reportedly developed several headbands, including one made of a material similar to the Apple Watch’s sports bands with built-in speakers aimed at consumers, and another for developers.
- Magnetically attached personalized prescription lenses for eyeglass wearers.
- Small motors to automatically adjust lens spacing with the user’s interpupillary distance.
- A 120° field of vision, as with the Valve Index
- The H2 chip for ultra-low latency connection with second-generation AirPods Pro and future AirPods models. It would therefore not be possible to use standard Bluetooth headphones (too much latency), nor wired headphones since there would be no 3.5 mm jack.
- There would be two chips, including a main SoC, comprising a CPU, GPU and memory, and a dedicated image signal processor. Both would be manufactured in 5nm, which means that the helmet would not benefit from future advances on this point this year. The chips would communicate through a custom streaming codec that Apple would have been forced to develop due to unacceptable latency in VR.
- The dedicated ESP would transform distorted images captured by external cameras into a faithful video representation of the user’s surroundings with low latency. The chip is said to contain high-bandwidth custom memory manufactured by SK Hynix.
- It would be possible to run existing iOS applications in 2D.
- There shouldn’t be any controllers since Apple favors hand-tracking and voice commands. However, it seems that the manufacturer is working on a “wand” and a kind of “finger thimble” (thimble style). The absence of a dedicated controller seems to make it clear that this headset would not be intended for gamers even if a partnership with Unity seems to be in progress so that VR experiences with this graphics engine are available at the exit.
- Videoconferencing seems to be a flagship feature of this VR headset and there would therefore be quality avatars with a fairly high level of reproduction of facial and body expressions.
- It would be possible to move an application from a Mac to a VR headset, such as Map, which would allow you to see the city as a 3D model on a table.
You must therefore add everything you have just read to what was already available on the corridor noise side.
- The headset would feature a large outward-facing screen on its front. This would show the facial expressions of the wearer of the helmet to the people around him. This should reduce the feeling of isolation when using the VR headset.
- The outward-facing screen is said to feature an ultra-low refresh rate and lower power consumption, just like the always-on display of the Apple Watch and iPhone 14 Pro.
- The interior screens, manufactured by Sony, would have a micro OLED panel offering 4K definition to each eye, which would give an 8K image in the end.
- Each eye would be tracked by at least one camera, allowing the headset to accurately show the user’s gaze on an avatar. Eye tracking would also allow the headset to do foveal rendering to save power by only calculating full resolution images directly where the user is looking.
- More than a dozen cameras and sensors would capture both facial expressions and body movements, including the user’s legs. Apple apparently did away with cameras to capture eyebrow and jaw movements when it developed machine learning to achieve this.
- Short-range and long-range LiDAR scanners for mapping surfaces and distances in three dimensions.
It seems that the VR headset fromApple should have initially been released in 2022 and that the price would be above 3,000 euros (depending on the configuration chosen). Finally, Applewhich left the competition to wipe the plaster of this technology not necessarily easy to popularize, seems to have prepared a helmet MR which would meet all the high expectations of professional users in 2023. To be continued…
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RUMOR Apple VR headset: new information has just leaked, let’s take stock
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