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Apple's mixed reality headset could have a waist-mounted battery

The waist-mounted battery was a controversial design choice among Apple engineers.

Published onJanuary 3, 2023

apple logo ipad air 5th gen 2022
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
  • A report has revealed new details about Apple’s unannounced mixed reality headset.
  • The headset could feature a waist-mounted battery, magnetically attachable custom prescription lenses, and more.
  • The headset may not work well with third-party Bluetooth headphones.

Although it has yet to be announced, Apple’s mixed-reality headset is one of the company’s most anticipated upcoming products. Despite a few leaks, there hasn’t been a whole lot of information about the project to grab onto. However, a report has given us some new details about the device.

A detailed report from The Information has revealed that Apple’s mixed reality headset includes some features not seen on mass-market headsets. These features include a waist-mounted battery pack, small motors to automatically adjust its lenses, a physical dial to switch between VR and the real world, and technology to make its AirPods Pro work better with the headset.

According to The Information, Apple chose to forego a design that integrated the battery into the headband last year, instead opting for an external battery. This was a decision that was controversial among Apple’s engineers due to it contrasting with the company’s preference for a cable-free aesthetic. The battery is said to last for about two hours, which would be around the same amount of time you get with a Meta Quest 2.

Additionally, the company has given the headset an H2 chip to provide an ultra-low latency connection with the second-generation AirPods Pro and future models. According to the report, third-party Bluetooth headphones may not work well with the headset and suffer too much lag. There’s also no 3.5mm headphone jack, so you’ll need your AirPods Pro to have a good experience.

The article also summarized a broad range of other details that previously leaked such as:

  • A ski goggle-like design that minimizes its size and weight by using uses aluminum, glass, and carbon fiber.
  • A price estimate of around $3,000.
  • A 120-degree field of view.
  • Two processor chips for image signal processing and a SoC for CPU, GPU, and memory.
  • Interior micro OLED displays for each eye with a 4K resolution individually.
  • Eye tracking
  • Cameras and sensors for facial expression and body motion tracking.
  • Short- and long-range Lidar scanners to map surfaces.
  • Different headbands for consumers and developers.

The headset’s rumored price tag would make it one of the most expensive VR headsets out on the market when it releases. And it would immediately be up against Meta’s enterprise-level Quest Pro.

What do you think about these new details about Apple’s mixed reality headset? Let us know in the comments below.


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