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Apple Reality Headset Pro: Eye and hand tracking, full-body FaceTime, iOS 3D and more

Apple’s highly anticipated mixed reality headset is expected to finally be revealed in the coming months, and of course, rumors are buzzing about it. New details about the headset, which is expected to be called the Apple Reality Pro, include eye and hand tracking, full-body FaceTime, and more.

Apple’s Technology Development Group has spent the last seven years working on the inaugural AR/VR headset. A new report from Bloomberg says the headphones are expected to cost around $3000 at launch, which is noticeably higher than other competitors on the market. Many may be wondering what Apple will bring to the table to constitute the higher price.

One of the main selling points is said to be the device’s eye and hand tracking capabilities. Using external cameras, the headset will scan the user’s hands and internal sensors will be used to track the user’s eyes. Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says this will allow the user to “control the device by looking at an element on the screen, be it a button, app icon or list entry, to select it”. An additional feature is the ability to “pinch thumb and forefinger to activate the task”.

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The Reality Pro is also said to include a digital crown similar to the Apple Watch that will allow the user to switch between AR and VR modes. While VR mode will fully immerse the user, AR mode will allow the user to immerse themselves in their real world environment.

According to the report, the headphones will have a battery life of approximately two hours. It will be about the size of two iPhone 14 Pro Max stacked on top of each other, or “about six inches tall and over half an inch thick.”

Apple is also said to be thinking of those who wear glasses. Those who wear glasses have often complained about how uncomfortable wearing other AR/VR headsets can be. To alleviate some of the inconvenience, Apple will offer lenses that fit inside the housing of the headphones.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects reported is how the headset will integrate with FaceTime calls. While group calls will still use an icon or Memoji to show the people on the call, individual calls where both people are using a Reality Pro headset will be rendered as realistic versions of their faces and bodies. This differs from how Meta presents people as a more cartoonish avatar.

Some of the other features mentioned in the report were: The AR/VR headset will be able to serve as an external display for Mac. Apps like Safari, Photos, Mail, Messages and more will be available on the headset. Apple has developed “its own underlying engine to power VR gaming.” The first iteration of the Reality Pro will be made of “aluminum, glass, and cushions.”

It should be noted that with launch still months away, any of these features could change or be removed entirely. If the headset does launch at a price tag close to $3,000, it’ll be interesting to see the final product and what it can actually do.

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