January had a couple of surprises when it comes to virtual reality (VR) headsets. Facebook confirmed its working on an Oculus Quest 2 followup, whilst not as concrete but still interesting report emerged about a high-end device from Apple. Further details have now emerged indicating the rumoured headset will be exceedingly pricey because its going to pack some serious tech.
According to a new report by The Information (paywalled), Apple’s VR headset – which will have basic augmented reality (AR) capabilities – will house over a dozen cameras to be used for a variety of tasks. These will include hand tracking, roomscale tracking and passthrough AR.
Sources told the site that the Apple headset will include dual 8K displays as well as eye-tracking which could be used to support foveated rendering, reducing the demand on processing those 8K visuals. The company is also looking at several methods of input beyond hand tracking including a “thimble-like device to be worn on a person’s finger.”
The above image may look a little crude but supposedly its an artist rendering of the device based on images of the headset The Information saw of a late-stage prototype in 2020. These showed: “a sleek, curved visor attached to the face by a mesh material and swappable headbands.”
Those swappable headbands won’t just be for aesthetics – although they’ll probably come in a range of colours – as one could be fitted with spatial audio tech similar to its AirPods. Another could extend the battery life just like Oculus Quest 2’s Elite Strap with Battery.
Previously, it was mentioned that Apple only planned to sell low volumes of the device and that could very well be the case with the new report indicating a discussed price point of $3,000 USD. If that is the case then Apple isn’t interested in the consumer market dominated by the Oculus Quest 2. At that price its in the same region as Varjo’s VR-3 which retails for $3,195, enterprise-level hardware with very similar features.
Apple’s VR headset is reportedly expected to arrive in 2022 so some official news could arrive later this year. If that should happen VRFocus will let you know.