Speculation about Apple VR and mixed reality headsets continues to grow. The latest announcement provides more evidence that the headset skips the controller in favor of body (and finger) tracking.
It is detailed in a new patent discovered by Patently Apple. In it, you can see that the Apple VR headset uses an external camera and sensor to generate a 3D model of the user’s fingertips and sense that the user is interacting with a real object.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve already heard rumors about Apple VR headsets that use this type of system. Bloomberg’s extensive report reported news about that particular feature, but another report from the information claimed that the headset had 12 different tracking cameras.
So it’s not surprising to hear that Apple has this kind of patent. In particular, it means that you can streamline headset control by skipping external remotes and controllers.
(Image credit: Apple / USPTO)
The patent itself states that the system can use a combination of cameras, depth sensors, and alignment algorithms to enable hand-finger tracking. Importantly, finger tracking seems to involve maintaining individual finger tabs, so you can register if you touch something or make a specific gesture in the air.
Examples used in this patent include the user rotating his finger “in front of the camera” to interact with the physical environment and sign in to an account.
We cannot guarantee that this accurate system will actually reach the final Apple VR headset. After all, for a variety of reasons, patents are often filed and left to collect dust. But given that we’ve already heard how headsets seem to work, it would be surprising if Apple didn’t include something very similar.
What else should you expect from an Apple VR headset?
The term “VR headset” is often used, but Apple headsets seem to be set up to offer even more features. The headset is the predecessor of Apple Glasses and is set to provide full augmented reality with regular eyeglasses.
VR headsets are reportedly used by developers (and the general public) to prepare for ongoing AR ambitions. It still provides a virtual reality and mixed reality experience, but has also been reported to enable full pass-through AR that allows you to see real-world virtual objects. Therefore, a large number of external cameras and sensors are set.
I’ve heard rumors that it includes LiDAR, dual 8K displays, line-of-sight tracking, and even an external controller. Yes, despite setting up a robust body tracking system, the patent is considering Apple at least using smart rings to provide finer-tuned hand and finger tracking. I made it clear.
But it all comes at a cost. The headset can be as high as $ 3,000. So this is a much bigger purchase than, for example, the $ 299 Oculus Quest 2. This is the cost of three iPhone 12 Pros.
Of course Apple didn’t check anything and had to wait for a while until Cupertino congratulated us on some details. Until mid-2022, if current rumors should be believed.
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