Apple mixed-reality headset: 5 wild rumored features that will likely make it to market

Apple mixed-reality headset
(Image credit: Ian Zeibo)

The Apple mixed-reality headset is a long-rumored head-mounted display that's been reportedly plagued with conflict among staff, numerous delays, and engineering setbacks. However, come hell or high water, Tim Cook reportedly demanded that he wants this AR/VR headset out by June 2023 — no ifs, ands, or buts.

As the chaos seemingly continues behind the scenes, outlets such as The Information, Financial Times, Bloomberg, and The New York Times have tapped into anonymous sources to determine what's the deal with this highly anticipated Apple headset. During their investigations, they've uncovered several wild features that the Apple mixed-reality headset will supposedly sport — and they'll likely make it to market, too.

Let's dive into the wildest features the Apple mixed-reality headset is expected to have.

1. Custom-made video content from the hottest Hollywood directors

The New York Times claims that it spoke with three people "familiar" with Apple's mixed-reality headset project, and as it turns out, the Cupertino-based tech giant reportedly asked several Hollywood directors to develop custom-made content for the long-awaited head-mounted display.

VR headset

VR headset (Image credit: Getty Images/franckreporter)

One of those Hollywood directors is allegedly Jon Favreau, the director of films such as Elf, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and The Lion King. Those movies are arguably pretty damn good, so I can imagine that this custom-made VR video content will be incredible, too.

Diving into specifics, Favreau is reportedly working on dinosaur-related video content for Apple's mixed-reality headset, which will offer a blend of AR and VR experiences. This content will likely tie into Favreau's Apple TV+ work with "Prehistoric Planet."

2. It has a 'reality dial' that can fade out real-time video

The Apple mixed-reality headset will feature a reality dial that is similar to the digital crown on the Apple Watch, according to the New York Times.

VR headset

VR headset (Image credit: Getty Images/Tuan Tran)

The reality dial will allow users to switch between AR and VR. For example, with VR activated, users are fully immersed inside a simulated world. With AR mode, they can see the "real world" around them. As such, with the reality dial, one can fade out  their VR environment to seamlessly transition to the AR world — and vice versa. Apple is reportedly expecting this to be one of the headset's greatest selling points.

Apple's AR/VR headset, rumored to look like ski goggles, is said to have two 4K panels, so watching this custom-made content through this head-mounted display must be a gorgeous visual treat.

3. You must wear a hip pack with the headset

Rumor has it that the Apple mixed-reality headset will ship with a hip pack that is designed to support the goggle's battery. According to PhoneArena, this hip pack contains a battery that is roughly the size of two iPhone 14 Pro Max phones.

Unfortunately, each battery will reportedly only last two hours on a single charge. Yikes!

4. You can use your eyes to select apps

The Apple mixed-reality headset reportedly has sensors that can track your eye movements. This will let users select on-screen items, including buttons, app icons, and list entries, by simply gesturing with their peepers.

Eye tracking

(Image credit: Getty Images/Tzio)

The headset also supposedly has hand tracking, so users can use their fingers to activate a task without using controllers. For example, you can use a pinching gesture with your thumb and index finger to make a selection.

5. FaceTime will render the users' face and full body in virtual reality

Bean spillers say that VR FaceTime users feel more present with their loved ones. According to Bloomberg, FaceTime within Apple's mixed-reality headset will render realistic 3D avatars of users' full face and body in virtual reality. As such, instead of seeing a 2D image of the person on the other end, you'll get to enjoy a multi-dimensional perspective of them instead.

3D avatars

3D avatars (Image credit: Getty Images/Radoslav Zilinsky)

With this new revamped, VR-based FaceTime, you should feel like you're sitting in the same room as the other person. Bloomberg says this sets Apple's headset apart from Meta's Quest series devices because its avatars are more cartoonish whereas Apple's avatars are more realistic.

Bottom line

There's a good chance that these aforementioned five features may end up rolling out with the final production models, but keep in mind that Apple may make last minute changes. We won't know for sure until the headset is officially announced later this year.

To find out more information about this highly anticipated AR/VR head-mounted display, check out our oft-updated Apple mixed-reality headset rumor hub.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!