Apple's first virtual reality helmet: waiting for the premiere
Attempts to create a multifunctional headset, with which you can immerse yourself in the world of virtual reality, were made in the distant '90s. However, these developments "do not mention without tears." They looked mostly meaningless and performed only the most basic set of functions. Of the more modern variations, it is worth mentioning the VR-platform Google Cardboard, presented at the Google I / O conference in 2014. The device was a cardboard box with two holes for lenses. A phone was inserted into it, on the screen of which a stereo image was displayed. The quality of such a 3D image depended entirely on the resolution of the smartphone used. This idea was a very economical measure, as it was available to anyone. After all, many people have smartphones with a gyroscope, and the cardboard frame could be ordered for a ridiculous price on AliExpress or even made yourself according to the drawings offered by the manufacturer. But as the saying goes "did not come." People laughed and forgot the idea.
But in recent years, the development of virtual reality systems has reached a qualitatively new level. The release of VR-devices has become popular, and gadgets of this type are increasingly filling the market. That's why the news of Apple's development of a mixed reality helmet simply blew up the information space. Speaking of "mixed reality", we mean that the company's innovative development will combine not only VR but also AR technology. The novelty is expected to see the light of day in 2022. but some behind-the-scenes information about future features and possible advantages over competitors is available now.
The story of the development of VR-helmet from Apple
This is not the first time that a hybrid reality headset has been announced by a well-known brand. In 2019, the general public was first informed about the development of a stereoscopic device. Then he was nicknamed Garta. A few months later, the Taiwanese information resource on DigiTimes technology spread the information that Valve specialists were also involved in the project. The American company, which has long been a guru in the development of video games, also recently released its own virtual reality helmet Index - a very popular gadget in its niche.
After some time with the publication of The Information, the whole world learned not only about the quick premiere of the Apple VR-helmet developed by Apple but also about the secret plan of the brand's engineers. These are N421 glasses - a light and comfortable alternative to a stereoscopic helmet, which can be worn indefinitely without attracting attention.
The benefits of an Apple virtual reality helmet
Apple's VR / AR helmet was conceived by the developers as a stand-alone and multifunctional device. It is expected to look similar to Oculus Quest 2 - the most advanced multifunctional VR system to date.
The novelty will be equipped with:
- external cameras needed to create a 3D environment (premises, objects, people);
- a display showing virtual reality content with ultra-high resolution and image quality;
- AR-functionality designed to combine real surrounding objects with objects of the virtual world.
Apple's main competitors are the VR helmet
Competition can also sow doubts about the release of a new product on the market. After all, in this niche there is already a sufficient number of successfully implemented projects. Let's take a closer look at the main rivals that may hinder the resounding success of Apple's new virtual reality helmet.
Microsoft Hololens 2
The device caused a furor in the market of VR-equipment in 2019. Retaining the most successful aspects of the first variation of Hololens, Microsoft has improved the weaknesses of its gadget and expanded its potential.
Among the advantages of the current main rival of the upcoming new Apple can be identified several of the most significant.
This function is to use the usual methods of interaction with various surrounding objects. That is, the user can handle virtual objects as well as real ones. For example, to move a hologram we will forgive the movement of hands, having taken it as any real subject and simply having dragged.
The direct effect on the holograms was made possible by tracking the movements of the hands and fingers. Apple has also decided to introduce a similar technology in its new invention.
In the same way, Windows has introduced into its gadget and pupil movement tracking technology, which was previously used in Windows 10. It is she who allows you to control virtual reality objects as if by force of sight.
The HoloLens 2 headset is almost invisible on the head. You could even say that these feelings are similar to the effect of wearing a baseball cap. And all thanks to the perfect weight distribution of the device, size adjustment and convenient support on the upper part of the forehead.
The analogy with a baseball cap is created by the ability to lift the front of the helmet up, almost like a visor. Thanks to the lightness and textile body, Apple will be able to compete on this point.
Benefits for business
In addition to Microsoft, a large number of partner companies are involved in the development of applications and hardware for this instance of VR equipment. This move significantly accelerates the production of software extensions and their number. So the virtual reality helmet can be used for a variety of purposes and production processes.
HoloLens 2 is qualitatively different from its predecessor and a number of competitors unusually wide viewing angle. Users also appreciated the smoothed images and objects, which greatly improved the comfort in the perception of the content.
Oculus Quest 2
This is the second generation of virtual reality helmet from the Californian company Oculus. We have already mentioned it today as a prototype design of Apple's new invention. The model is made of white plastic and weighs only 503 grams. the device is equipped with built-in headphones and two microphones. The helmet is attached to the head with fabric straps and easily "adjusted" to the desired size through the use of buckles.
The Quest variation also has a list of benefits that instantly gained popularity in the virtual technology market.
Oculus Quest 2, like the previous version of the device, uses four cameras to implement the technology of tracking the movements of the controller and hands called "inside-out". And motion sensors work perfectly even in dim lighting.
The only disadvantage of the tracking system is the blind areas that do not fall into the camera lens. But for most games, such parameters are enough. after all, the Quest 2 tracking system is able to cope with such complex objects as a rotating fan or flickering holiday lights.
With the help of built-in microphones in the functionality of the headset is the ability to use voice commands. The device understands a lot of basic actions, such as finding and launching applications. Also, the gadget will easily inform the user about the battery status, the exact time and even search the Internet using the Oculus browser.
The VR game library for this gadget is already more than 200 items. Moreover, using the Oculus Link cable, you can easily connect the helmet to a personal computer with virtual reality support. Once connected, you can play games not only from the device's memory, but also from your PC's library.
Waiting for a novelty
Virtual reality technologies are advancing at an irresistible pace. Today, the VR-headset market definitely has something to offer both fans of virtual games and specialists in 3D modeling.
But despite the incredible selection of high-tech gadgets, there are no limits to perfection. That is why the whole world freezes in anticipation, waiting for a novelty from such an authoritative brand as Apple. And many fans of the iPhone and other masterpieces of the tech giant can not wait to try their revolutionary VR-helmet.