Apple’s ‘Reality Pro’ VR headset could have next-gen hand and eye tracking

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According to a comprehensive new report, Apple’s long-rumored VR/AR headset could be packed with ambitious technologies, including advanced hand-tracking, the ability to see your Mac’s screen, and even mimic digital versions of users in one-on-one FaceTime calls from from Bloomberg To install Mark Gurman.

Many of the advanced technologies will be enabled by “multiple” external cameras that can track your hands, as well as “sensors inside the gadget body” that can be used to read your eyes, Gurman reports. You’ll apparently be able to just look at something on screen to select it and then pinch your fingers together to activate it, meaning the headset won’t need external controllers like Meta’s high-end Quest Pro and Sony’s upcoming PlayStation VR2 . Gurman says the headset will allow users to switch between VR and AR by turning a digital crown, something that was also reported by The information earlier this month.

Like the Quest Pro, Apple’s headset will apparently have a big focus on collaboration between other headset users. According to Gurman, in one-on-one FaceTime conversations between two people, each wearing a headset, the device will “be able to realistically display a user’s face and full body in virtual reality.” This will be a remarkable achievement if actually included – right now many virtual meeting rooms rely on cartoonish avatars. The company is also developing an immersive way to watch videos on a big screen while wearing the headset, says Gurman, though you’ll need AirPods to hear spatial audio. And you can use the headset to see your Mac’s screen in VR, but still control it with a mouse and keyboard.

Gurman reports that the headset’s battery is transferred to an external pack that’s meant to sit in your pocket and connect to the device with a cable, similar to the Magic Leap. The package, which Gurman describes as “about the size of two iPhone 14 Pro Maxs stacked together,” will apparently power the headset for two hours, though he reports that Apple has some internal prototypes with a built-in battery. .

Gurman says the headset will likely be called the “Reality Pro” (the company has trademarked the name) and will cost “about” $3,000, which would be double the price of Quest Pro. Despite that high price, Apple apparently only expects to sell about 1 million headsets in its first year, Gurman reports, perhaps acknowledging that this first device will be out of reach for many customers. The company is developing a cheaper headset, Gurman reported last week, but even that could cost quite a bit; the more affordable device could have a price closer to $1,500.

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