Apple's rumoured AR headset will offer hand-gesture recognition - report

  • 10/12/2021
An illustration of someone using an AR headset
An example of an AR headset. Apple is expected to sell millions in the first year after launch. Photo credit: Getty Images

Apple's Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) headset is set to have hand-gesture recognition as well as object detection, according to a new report. 

Despite not being expected to be released until late next year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has provided more details about the long-rumoured headset in his latest note to investors.

"We predict that the structured light of the 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," Kuo wrote.

"Capturing the details of hand movement can provide a more intuitive and vivid human-machine UI."

The example he gave was the headset detecting a clenched hand opening up to let a balloon fly away.

To be able to do that, it is expected to have four sets of 3D sensors with higher specifications than those currently used for FaceID on iPhones and iPads, Kuo said.

As well as gesture control and object detection, the headset will offer eye tracking, skin detection, voice control and expression detection.

Earlier in the week Kuo said the first generation of the headset is expected to weigh between 300 and 400 grams, making it relatively lightweight compared to others on the market.

He expects the company to sell between 2.5 and 3.5 million headsets in the first year with a focus on early adopters willing to pay a premium.

Apple is already working on a second-generation design, however, which will be even lighter and feature a new battery system along with faster processors.

Last month Kuo revealed the chip design of the tech giants' headset would be a point of difference compared to others on the market.

"It has Mac-level computing power, it can operate independently without relying on a Mac or an iPhone and it supports a comprehensive range of applications rather than specific applications," Kuo wrote.

"The higher-end processor will have similar computing power as the M1 for Mac, whereas the lower-end processor will be in charge of sensor-related computing."

Another analyst, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, has said Apple may make the initial announcement of the device during its 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which is generally held in June.