Apple’s rumored AR headset will reportedly use 3D sensors for advanced hand tracking

Developing an augmented reality/mixed reality headset is one thing. Probably the most important thing when you’re talking about AR headsets! But that’s not the total package, because future owners of that headset will need some way to actually interact with things if they want a truly robust experience.

In a research note seen recently by 9to5Mac, it sounds like Apple is going to develop some advanced sensors to make sure that hand tracking while using the future AR headset is one way to go. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s future and oft-rumored mixed reality headset is going to utilize a variety of different 3D sensors to offer up advanced hand tracking while wearing the device.

From the research note:

We predict that the structured light of the AR/MR headset can detect not only the position change of the user or other people’s hand and object in front of the user’s eyes but also the dynamic detail change of the hand (just like the iPhone’s Face ID/structured light/Animoji can detect user’s dynamic expression change). Capturing the details of hand movement can provide a more intuitive and vivid human-machine UI (for example, detecting the user’s hand from a clenched fist to open and the balloon [image] in hand flying away).

The research note suggests Apple’s 3D sensors will have a wider field of view (FOV), too, which would allow them to detect objects around 200% further away than what the current Face ID sensors are capable of. The headset will also reportedly offer up voice control, iris recognition, eye tracking, and more.

Including more advanced sensors in its upcoming AR/MR headset, compared to what’s present with Face ID right now, certainly makes sense. Especially with how long Face ID and the TrueDepth Camera have been around now, Apple’s obviously been working on improving those systems. And considering how long Apple has been rumored to be working on an AR headset like this, it would appear these upgrades have always been planned for something other than just Face ID.

But, we’ll have to wait and see. The latest rumors suggest Apple’s headset will see the light of day before the end of 2022.

If Apple does launch an AR/MR headset, will you be one of the first to pre-order?