A yet-to-be-launched mixed reality headset designed by Apple will reportedly incorporate several technical specifications that may make the device stand out above its competitors, sources familiar with the matter told The Information.
Last week, a couple of developers who were allegedly involved in the creation of the headset told the online magazine that one of those features will be an iris scanner that will allow users to rapidly log into their accounts to make payments and other similar transactions.
The feature will resemble the Face ID and Touch ID security protocols supported by other Apple devices but, by using people’s irises, it will be easier for multiple individuals to use the same headset.
Moreover, the two individuals commented that the device could include 14 cameras to capture the user’s motions so their virtual avatars could imitate them. For comparison, the Quest Pro, which is Meta Platforms (META) mixed-reality headset, only incorporates 10 cameras at the moment.
In addition, Apple’s gadget could be lighter than that of its competitor and it will reportedly capture leg motion – a feature that users have been demanding from Meta’s Quest product line and that Mark Zuckerberg’s company has been unable to add to the latest upgrade.
Apple Sees the Metaverse as a Passing Fad
Tim Cook, the head of Apple, recently commented that he did not think the metaverse is a technology or a concept that many people can understand. However, the Cupertino-based tech company is apparently betting heavily on the creation of a device that can be used to access the virtual realm.
Even though this sounds like a contradiction, other tech leaders have also argued that the definition of the metaverse remains somehow ambiguous and have preferred to focus on the development of augmented reality and virtual reality devices and experiences as they believe the true future of the industry is in those two technologies.
“I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything”, Cook commented during an interview with Bloomberg that took place earlier this month.
He added: “Imagine suddenly being able to teach with AR and demonstrate things that way. Or medically, and so on. Like I said, we are really going to look back and think about how we once lived without AR”.
However, companies like Meta Platforms have poured millions of dollars into research, acquisitions, and other similar activities to develop the many facets of the metaverse going from the devices needed to create mind-blowing experiences to the platforms through which developers will commercialize their experiences and games.
Apple’s Acquisitions Speak Loud About its Ambitious Plans for the AR/VR Space
Apple (AAPL) has been acquiring several small companies that have strong initiatives in the AR/VR space such as Spaces – a standalone business that was spun off DreamWorks back in 2016 and that specializes in location-based VR experiences.
The list goes on and on with other prominent purchases including NextVR, a company that streams VR-enabled live events, Camerai, an Israeli firm that develops advanced camera technologies that could help AR/VR devices in processing images for powering virtual avatars, and SensoMotric Instruments, a company that develops eye-tracking software.
Industry professionals and people who are familiar with Apple’s modus operandi feel a bit disoriented when it comes to untangling how serious the company is being about its AR/VR initiatives.
For now, the paper trail seems to be strong enough to state that the company has ambitious plans for this particular space as it may have spent more than $500 million in AR/VR-related acquisitions.
Apple is famous for creating devices that have the capacity to change humanity’s habits and that is a reason to be excited if they are in fact working as hard as it seems to bring to life an AR/VR headset and an ecosystem that can offer access to a whole new dimension.
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