As more and more virtual reality headsets are developed and released, Apple is reportedly throwing its hat into the ring, with a purported steep price tag of $3,000.
If the rumors are true, the price tag is high, but might be worth it for some. Apple apparently plans to boast an 8k resolution, state of the art eye-tracking, and a headset that weighs far less than any of its predecessors.
The headset is said to still in development, and will be for some time (Apple hasn't even decided on a control method yet), but promises to be one of the biggest leaps forward that VR has seen.
What Can the Apple VR Do?
It's nice to have all these bells and whistles, but what can it offer the user that other VR headsets don't already? It'd be easy to see this as putting more horsepower into a car when the driver already has more than enough.
Firstly, an easy one, the lighter headset. Apple's apparent ultimate goal is a VR headset that is almost indistinguishable from ordinary glasses (like the Google Glass, except not a total failure). While even Apple can't get there just yet, a lighter headset would allow for more mobility and less headaches/neck strain.
Reports also say that the headset will feature over a dozen eternal cameras, allowing for precise hand tracking. With this many cameras focused on the user's hands, it's possible that the headset won't even need to be paired with controllers at all, once again allowing for a freer, more mobile experience.
Finally, the 8k resolution. It takes a lot of juice to power an 8k image across an entire headset, but by using the headset's incredible eye-tracking technology, it can detect the specific point the user is looking at, and focus on generating an 8k image in that specific area, rather than across the board, which would save a ton of processing speed.
VR is an experience that relies strongly on the power of immersion, so having the ability to increase the visual fidelity of what the user is seeing, especially as high as 8k, is a huge benefit for a VR headset.
What Is the Future of VR?
Few fields are developing as quickly as VR. Multiple tech giants are racing to create the best, most functional headset or software. And considering this race only really began within the past decade, it's fair to say that the industry is still somewhat in its infancy.
Even without seeing the product in action, by simply taking Apple at their word, and considering the developments made by Apple's VR headset, this is going to be a very solid step forward. While it might not be affordable to the average consumer right now, the potential inspiration that this will give other developers for the future means that it will still push the industry forward as a whole.
With Apple, Valve, Facebook, and other household tech names in the VR race, it's hard to overstate the potential that this field has. Headset weight reduction, world-mapping, and even hologram integration are all on the cards for the future of VR, so it really won't take long until we're all in the sci-fi dystopia that we've longed for.