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Apple's mixed reality headset could have waist-mounted battery and digital crown

By Cookie Monster - on 4 Jan 2023, 3:00am

Apple's mixed reality headset could have waist-mounted battery and digital crown

Purported render of the Apple mixed reality headset. <br>Image source: Ian Zelbo

The Information has published a report detailing new features coming to the Apple mixed reality headset. 

Based on interviews with several people who have worked on the device, The Information claims the mixed reality headset will be powered by a waist-mounted battery that is connected via a MagSafe-like cable to the headband. As the battery is unlikely to last more than two hours, it can be swapped out with new batteries for longer usage durations. 

Like the Apple Watch, the mixed reality headset is said to have a Digital Crown on the right side for the user to toggle between the virtual and physical world. However, the Digital Crown lacks haptic feedback.

There are small motors which automatically adjust the lenses on the headset to match the user's interpupillary distance for the biggest field of view at 120 degrees. This is more than what the competition is offering. For example, the Meta Quest Pro and Valve Index deliver a 106-degree field of view.

The mixed reality headset is expected to have the H2 chip for ultra-low latency connection with the AirPods Pro (2022). Apple is believed to be working hard to ensure current and future AirPods can support low-latency connections with the headset.

Other chips in the headset include a main one consisting of the CPU, GPU and memory, and a secondary one with a dedicated image signal processor (ISP). The ISP will translate images captured by the external cameras into a video representation of the user's environment with low latency. Communication between the chips will be via a custom streaming codec that Apple developed.

Apple initially planned to unveil the mixed reality headset sometime this month, but it is said to be delayed till the second half of the year. The mixed reality headset will run on a new platform, xrOS which has new versions of core apps. Other rumoured specs include support for Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, iris scanning for authentication, 15 camera modulesultra high-resolution 8K displays, and a price tag of about US$3,000.

Source: The Information via MacRumours

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