Apple’s MR Headset Said to Include 120-Degree FOV, Waist-mounted Battery & Tons of Biometric Trackers – Road to VR

Apple’s long-awaited mixed reality headset is still deep under wraps, although a recent report from The Information has shed what appears to be new light on some of the features coming to the fruit company’s first AR/VR headset.

There’s a lot of new information here, and of course, we can’t substantiate it even if we tried. We’ve restructured the main takeaways, courtesy of MacRumorsinto a sort of fantasy spec sheet:

Reported 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.
  • Controller: Apple 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.
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Then there are some design rumors, which don’t fit so well into our fantasy spec sheet. The Information says it has reconfirmed these previously reported rumors.

Design Rumors

  • Outer Shell: Aluminum, glass, and carbon fiber to reduce its size and weight. Cameras are largely concealed for aesthetic reasons.
  • Presence Displays: Outward-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 passthrough.
  • 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.

Apple supplier Pegatron is said to have already assembled “thousands of prototype units of the headset” over the course of 2023 at its Shanghai-based facility.

According to four people with knowledge of the matter, The Information reports that Apple could price its MR headset around $3,000 or more depending on its configuration.

The report maintains the headset was initially supposed to launch in 2023, although by now it’s clear it’s obviously been delayed. A previous Bloomberg report alleged this was due to “overheating, cameras and software” having been stumbling blocks along the way to launch.