Gurman: Apple Headset Could Feature ‘In-Air’ Typing for Text Input, No iPhone Pairing Required
Apple’s first mixed-reality headset may feature “in-air” typing capabilities and can be used independently without an accompanying iPhone, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.
In the latest edition of his “Power On” newsletter, Gurman explained that Apple’s headset is unlikely to require a paired iPhone, in contrast to the original Apple Watch. The device can purportedly be set up without an accompanying iPhone and download a user’s content independently, including iCloud data. A data transfer from a user’s iPhone upon setup will be an option rather than a requirement.
“In-air typing,” Apple’s method for text input using eye movements and hand gestures with the device, is apparently enabled on the latest internal prototypes. The feature is “finicky,” Gurman warned, explaining that “you still may want to pair an iPhone to use its touch-screen keyboard… The hope within Apple is to make rapid improvements after the device is released.”
Apple is still planning to unveil the first version of the headset, likely called “Reality Pro,” at WWDC in June this year, with the device shipping toward the end of 2023 at the earliest. The company is also developing multiple other headset models for further in the future. There is a cheaper model with a lower-end display and processor components planned for launch at the end of 2024 or in 2025, likely under the “Reality One” name, as well as a second-generation Reality Pro headset.
The second-generation Reality Pro headset is apparently focused on performance improvements. While the first-generation model will contain the M2 chip alongside a secondary chip for AR and VR processing, it is apparently not powerful enough to output graphics at the level Apple wants. For example, FaceTime will only support realistic VR representations of just two people at a time, rather than everyone in a conference call, with the first-generation headset. The second-generation Reality Pro could have a variant of the M3 or M4 chip to bolster its graphics capabilities, Gurman said.
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