Market for VRwhich appeared in 2016 with the publications of HTC VIVE and toOculus Rift, has been in development for several months. This is felt through the release of many headsets, the arrival of Chinese competition in the West, but above all through the promotion of mixed reality (LORD) that mixes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (gold). Of course, nothing official in all this, but let’s take stock of the current rumors.
3D model from Ian Zelbo from different flows
List of rumored new releases
- The battery would be external, strapped to the waist and connected via a magnetic MagSafe-style cable to the helmet’s headband. It would offer a maximum charge of two hours with the option of changing the battery on the fly to extend its session. The idea of putting the battery directly on the strap (as with all other VR headsets at the moment) has been abandoned.
- Aluminum, glass and carbon fiber design to reduce size and weight. The cameras would be hidden mainly for aesthetic reasons.
- A small dial in the form of a digital crown on the right side would allow users to quickly switch from the virtual to the physical world. Unlike the Apple Watch, there would be no haptic feedback.
- Apple is said to have developed several headbands, including one made of a material similar to the Apple Watch sports bands with built-in speakers aimed at consumers, and another for developers.
- Magnetically bonded custom prescription lenses for eyeglass wearers.
- Small motors to automatically adjust the lens spacing to the user’s interpupillary distance.
- A 120° field of view, as with the Valve Index
- H2 chip for ultra-low-latency connection with second-generation AirPods Pro and future AirPods models. It would therefore not be possible to use standard Bluetooth headphones (with a lot of latency), nor wired headphones as there would be no 3.5mm jack.
- There would be two chips, including a main SoC, which includes a CPU, GPU and memory, and a dedicated image signal processor. Both would be manufactured on 5nm, meaning the helmet would not benefit from future advancements at this point this year. The chips would communicate via a custom streaming codec that Apple would have been forced to develop due to unacceptable latency in VR.
- Dedicated ESP would transform distorted images captured by external cameras into a faithful video representation of the user’s surroundings with low latency. The chip is said to feature high-bandwidth custom memory manufactured by SK Hynix.
- It would be possible to run existing iOS apps in 2D.
- There should be no controller as Apple favors hand tracking and voice commands. However, it seems that the manufacturer is working on a “stick” and some kind of “finger thimble”. The lack of a dedicated controller seems to make it clear that this headset would not be intended for gamers, even if a partnership with Unity appears to be in the works so that VR experiences with this graphics engine can be made available on the way out.
- Video conferencing seems to be a key feature of this VR headset and therefore it would have quality avatars with a fairly high level of facial and body expression reproduction.
- It would be possible to move an application from a Mac to a VR headset, such as Map, which would allow you to see the city as a 3D model on a table.
Therefore, you should add everything you just read to what was already available on the noise side of the aisle.
- The headset will feature a large outward-facing display on its front. This would show the helmet wearer’s facial expressions to the people around him. This should reduce the feeling of isolation when using the VR headset.
- The outward-facing display is said to have an ultra-low refresh rate and lower power consumption, just like the always-on display of the Apple Watch and iPhone 14 Pro.
- The internal screens, manufactured by Sony, would have a micro OLED panel that provides 4K definition to each eye, which would deliver an 8K image at the end.
- Each eye would be tracked by at least one camera, allowing the headset to accurately show the user’s gaze on an avatar. Eye tracking would also allow the headset to do foveal rendering to save power by only computing full-resolution images directly where the user is looking.
- More than a dozen cameras and sensors would capture both facial expressions and body movements, including the user’s feet. Apple apparently ditched cameras to capture eyebrow and jaw movements when it developed machine learning to achieve this.
- Short- and long-range LiDAR scanners for mapping surfaces and distances in three dimensions.
It seems that the VR headset fromApple it was originally supposed to come out in 2022 and that the price would be over 3000 euros (depending on the configuration chosen). Finally, Applewhich left the competition to wipe the plaster of this technology not necessarily easy to popularize, seems to have prepared a helmet. LORD which would meet all the high expectations of professional users in 2023. To be continued…