Pic: Edexlive
Pic: Edexlive

What The FAQ: What's all the fuss about Apple's rumoured 'Mixed Reality' headset?

While Apple has remained quiet on the subject, speculation is rife that the head-mounted device will be the best in the business. We break down the why, the when and the how for you

There are those who buy Apple products. There are also those who buy only Apple products. And then there are those who deal in the veritable fandom that exists around the tech giant and its creations. If you belong to the latter, then you'd want to get in on this mixed reality headset that sounds, for the lack of a better term, unreal. 

What is special about this Apple headset?
It is not just a gaming device, like its competitors from Sony and Facebook, but is being pitched as a multi-device headset. The initial model will rely on the accompanying/connected iPhone to process most of its Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) functions, much like the initial models of the Apple Watch. The headset has been in the works for some years now, if "insider" rumours are to be believed, and the product is reportedly being designed more ergonomically than its competitors with one speculator even claiming that it could be the "best industrial design so far".

When is it expected to be launched?
With competition in the sector growing leaps and bounds, thanks to steadily rising demand, Apple is believed to have accelerated its hitherto 'secret' research on AR/VR technology which has been going on for years. Initial reports at the start of this year suggested that the tech giant was slated to announce mass production of the product as soon as the second quarter of 2022. However, given the 'complexity' of the design and the ecosystem of the product, that date could be pushed back by a few months to the last quarter of 2022. 

What are these components that make the design so complicated?
Apple has been blowing our minds away with the impeccable display on its gadgets since it shocked the world with its Retina display on the iPhone 4, which had a dots per inch (DPI) pixel density of 227. Believe it or not, it is trying to max that with this head-mounted device (HMD) with an ultra-dense 8K display of a crazy 3,000 DPI. Apart from this, the software and ecosystem that makes it a multi-device unit also needs work. Add to that the proposed 15 camera modules for advanced tracking and AR capabilities that can provide users with a seamless 'pass-through video' experience, and even Apple would have a job on their hands with that one. 

What other products are in the making from Apple in the Virtual Reality spectrum? 
While the headset is being proposed as a mixed device, in the works also is Apple Glasses, which is exclusively an Augmented Reality product. The design will closely resemble normal eyeglasses and will harness advanced optical waveguide technology in order to project virtual images and graphics onto real scenery. That product, however, is supposed to only see the light of day by 2025.