Apple's Mixed-Reality Headset Specs May Have Leaked And It Sounds Fascinating

Apple's upcoming mixed reality headset has been a staple of the rumor verse for a while now, with multiple analysts claiming it will have the same level of impact on the consumer tech industry as the original iPhone. The Information, which was the first to leak alleged schematics of the headset, is now reporting more juicy details (via MacRumors) about the upcoming Apple wearable. To start, the headset will reportedly draw power from a battery pack that will be mounted on the waist and connected to the main body via a magnetic connector.

Now, this is not exactly a novel design, and the battery will reportedly last only two hours on a single charge. Thankfully, the drained unit can be swapped easily. The alleged sub-par battery life is not surprising, since previous reports have predicted a desktop-class M-series processor for the headset, complete with a co-processor to handle the less demanding tasks, and a beefy graphics engine, too. The chip will be manufactured using the 5nm fabrication process, most likely by Apple's long-time partner TSMC. Apple reportedly had to develop a custom streaming codec to keep latency issues in check. 

Apple Watch inspiration with an accessibility perk

For users who wear prescription glasses for vision correction, Apple will reportedly offer custom prescription lens inserts that can be magnetically attached to its main headset body. Moreover, small motors fitted inside the headset will enable lens adjustment for the most comfortable viewing experience, according to the leak. This would be a huge victory from an accessibility perspective, but given the nascent stage of the tech and Apple's own history, this facility won't come cheap.

The report also claims that the headset will feature a rotating digital dial — akin to the Digital Crown on the Apple Watch — on the right edge. Rotating this dial will reportedly let users instantly switch from a virtual view to the real world in front of them. However, the dial reportedly won't offer a haptic response while using it. Either way, it seems like a practically sound choice, as it would enable users to quickly take a peek at their real surroundings without having to juggle through the save and exit hassle of whatever it is that they were doing in the virtual world.

Clean design married to fast innards

As far as the design goes, Apple is reportedly eyeing carbon fiber to keep the weight in check. The cameras will mostly be concealed behind the curved glass on the front, the leaks allege, while the frame will reportedly be made out of aluminum. Apple is also said to be working on at least different headband designs targeted at regular consumers and developers. One of the mass-market headband designs reportedly features a material resembling the Apple Watch sports band and will notably feature built-in speaker units.

The headset is rumored to pack no less than a dozen cameras, while the pixel-dense display unit will reportedly offer an impressive 120-degree field of view. Another huge convenience is that users will allegedly be able to run a 2D interface of all the iOS apps installed on their phones. Apple has reportedly been working on its own AR/VR operating system called reality OS, which at one time was apparently in development under the codename XR OS. We're also hearing speculations that the headset itself might hit the shelves carrying the name Reality One.