Apple was recently granted a patent for the 3D modeling of fingers for in-the-air gesture recognition, which suggests it could arrive in Apple's upcoming VR headset.
A patent filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office describes a system that can generate a 3D model of a user's fingers to navigate through a virtual world and interact with objects within it. The patent refers to Apple's rumored VR headset and not Apple's in-development Apple Glasses. The VR headset is rumored to be coming in 2022.
This patent mostly outlines how Apple's VR headset finger gestures and a visual touch detection system will work.
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The diagram above shows how the system may function: by generating a 3D model of a user's fingertips and using a combination of depth sensors and cameras, which, according to the text, will work in conjunction with a contour alignment-based algorithm.
It all sounds familiar to how the tracking software in the Oculus Quest 2 works. Still, it is a fascinating development even though 2022 is still a long way away with Apple still in the early development stages of their VR headset technology.
There have also been many rumors about Apple using eye-tracking software, LiDAR scanning sensors, and dual 8K displays within the VR headset. There may also be wearable haptic controllers to go along with the 3D modeling software to grant users a full sensory experience.
That all sounds wonderful and amazing, but herein lies the rub. What will all this cost? Reports from The Information (opens in new tab) and Bloomberg claim Apple's VR headset will cost $3,000, with Bloomberg stating Apple expects to sell one per day per store.
Apple makes fine products, but when you can get an Oculus Quest 2 for $300, why would you pony up ten times that amount for an Apple VR headset? For that amount of money, it has to be able to clean my home, do my laundry, and mine Bitcoin in its spare time so that it pays for itself over time.
Who am I fooling? I am so deep within the Apple ecosystem I will probably sell a kidney on the black market to get one.