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Report: Apple Racing to Build Software & Services for Upcoming Mixed Reality Headset

Apple appears to be getting ready to unveil its first mixed reality headset at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. Now a report from Bloomberg maintains the Cupertino tech giant is also prepping a dizzying number of first-party apps, including gaming, fitness, video and collaboration tools.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is a lightning rod for all things Apple, and in his new info dump it appears we now have a pretty sizable list of first-party content coming to the still very much under-wraps mixed reality headset.

Here’s all of the major apps and features mentioned in the report:

  • iPad apps adapted for mixed reality: Calendars, Contacts, Files, Home control, Mail, Maps, Messaging, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Music, News, Stocks, and Weather apps.
  • FaceTime: conferencing service will generate 3D versions of users in virtual meeting rooms.
  • Freeform collaboration app: will let users work on virtual whiteboards together while in mixed reality.
  • Work apps: Pages word processing, Numbers spreadsheet and Keynote slide deck apps, as well as iMovie and GarageBand for video and music production.
  • Apple TV: both immersive sports content and traditional video content – the latter presented in virtual environments, such as a desert or the sky.
  • Apple Books: will allow users to read in virtual reality.
  • Fitness+: will let users exercise while watching an instructor in VR.
  • Multitasking & Siri: will be able to run multiple apps at the same time, floating within the mixed reality space. Siri voice control is also present.
  • Camera app: can take pictures from the headset.

Provided all of the above is accurate, Apple may be releasing the industry’s most feature-rich headset out of the gate, as it appears to be hauling in a ton of its mature and battle-tested ecosystem of apps.

It’s also said that gaming will be a major focus—a reversal from previous reports. This could mean we’ll see a wider push for Apple to court third-party developers soon after release, which is said to release a few months after is June unveiling, priced at somewhere around $3,000.

As for hardware, as many suggested in the past, Gurman reconfirms the existence of a dial crown similar to the one seen on Apple Watch, which will let the wearer seamlessly switch between virtual and augmented reality views.

Here’s a compilation list of alleged Apple MR headset features scavenged from previous reports—all of which you should take with a heaping handful of salt. We’ve broken them down into specs and design rumors:

Rumored Apple MR Specs

  • Resolution: Dual Micro OLED displays at 4K resolution (per eye)
  • FOV: 120-degrees, similar to Valve Index
  • Chipset: Two 5nm chips. Includes a main SoC (CPU, GPU, and memory) and a dedicated image signal processor (ISP). Chips communicate via a custom streaming codec to combat latency.
  • Battery: Waist-mounted battery, connected via MagSafe-like power cable to the headset’s headband. Two-hour max battery life, although hotswappable for longer sessions.
  • PassthroughISP chip contains custom high-bandwidth memory made by SK Hynix, providing low latency color passthrough
  • Audio: H2 chip, providing ultra-low latency connection with the second-generation AirPods Pro and future AirPods models. No 3.5mm and possible no support for non-AirPod BT headphones.
  • ControllerApple is said to favor hand-tracking and voice recognition to control the headset, but it has tested a “wand” and a “finger thimble” as alternative control input methods.
  • Prescription Lenses: Magnetically attachable custom prescription lenses for glasses-wearers.
  • IPD Adjustment: Automatic, motorized adjustment to match the wearer’s interpupillary distance.
  • Eye Tracking: At least one camera per-eye for things like avatar presence and foveated rendering
  • Face & Body Tracking: More than a dozen cameras and sensors capture both facial expressions and body movements, including the user’s legs.
  • Room Tracking: Both short- and long-range LiDAR scanners to map surfaces and distances in three dimensions.
  • App Compatibility: Said to have the ability to run existing iOS apps in 2D.
  • Price: $3,000 – $4,000

Design Rumors

  • Outer Shell: Aluminum, glass, and carbon fiber to reduce its size and weight. Cameras are largely concealed for aesthetic reasons.
  • Presence DisplaysOutward-facing display can show user’s facial expressions and also presumably eye movements. Said to be an always-on display similar in latency and power draw of Apple Watch or iPhone 14 Pro.
  • Dedicated Passthrough Switch: Digital Crown-like dial on its right side to switch between VR and AR.
  • Headstrap: Various available, including consumer-focused headstrap similar in material to Apple Watch sport bands with built-in speakers. Unspecified, but different headstrap targeted at developers.

– – — – –

As you’d imagine, Apple has confirmed absolutely nothing, so we’ll be tuning in for the June 5th keynote to see whether we’ll finally get a big “one more thing” moment we’ve been waiting for.

Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed
AuditStudent.com, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.


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