Details emerge on why Apple’s new mixed reality headset won't come cheap

Details emerge on why Apple’s new mixed reality headset won’t come cheap

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Apple’s long-awaited mixed reality headset should be coming out sometime in the next few months, according to reports today that added a few more details about what we might see in the company’s first big release since the Apple Watch in 2015.

It seems almost certain now that the headset will be called the Apple Reality Pro, which according to Bloomberg will have a hefty price tag of $3,000. Although that’s far more than someone would pay for a similar headset currently on the market, there will be a major difference with Apple’s device.

Users will control an augmented reality and virtual reality environment with only their hand and eye movement rather than manipulate some kind of control panel. The device’s internal sensors will track eye movement, and external cameras will track hand signals, such as the clicking of the thumb or pinching of the fingers.

“The eye- and hand-tracking capabilities will be a major selling point for the device,” said Bloomberg. It’s not certain if this ability will come with every device or if it will be on the first headset that is released. But when it does appear, the science fiction aspect of moving your hands in the air to manipulate a digital environment will no doubt compel some people to fork out the three grand.

As has been reported before, the device will run an “xrOS” operating system, similar to what Apple users are familiar with on their other Apple devices. But the headset will feature a 3-D version of the OS, meaning people can navigate certain apps in virtual reality. Bloomberg said there will be a “strong focus” on media, which is why Apple might be looking for media partners right now.

In terms of watching movies, the headset will make it possible to open large movie screens in any space users choose in the real environment. They will be able to switch from AR to VR anytime they want, all within the headset. The device can be used without an iPhone, although it will also feature an external display for a Mac.

Another major selling point is what will happen with FaceTime. It was previously stated that callers with appear as an emoji, but it seems that if both callers are wearing a headset, they’ll appear as rendered images of themselves, perhaps sitting in the same room in a virtual environment. Again, that’s a futuristic element of the headset, another reason for the high price and the reason why this headset has taken seven years to build.

Reports also state that Apple might release a cheaper version of the headset, but only a year or two after the first comes out.

Photo: Sumudu Mohottige/Unsplash

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