Apple’s rumored virtual and augmented reality headset will reportedly use iris scanning tech for logins and payments, according to The Information. The report, which cites two people involved in developing the headset, says the scanning is supposed to make it easier for multiple people to use the headset with their own accounts.
The eye-scanning system echoes iOS tools like Apple’s fingerprint or Face ID logins, and it would take advantage of the device’s many cameras. It would also help differentiate Apple’s offering from its main competitor: the Meta Quest Pro, which the company formerly known as Facebook announced earlier this week. The Quest Pro features inward-facing cameras that can track eye and face motion, but it doesn’t (at least at this point) use them for authentication. According to The Information, Apple will also use downward-facing cameras to capture users’ legs, a part of the body Meta is still figuring out.
Apple’s headset is tentatively expected in 2023, but the project has been in development for years, and its launch date has seemingly slipped multiple times. Its rumored $3,000 price tag is twice the cost of the Quest Pro, which itself is sold as a high-end headset for professionals rather than a mass-market consumer device. Both (in Apple’s case, reportedly) offer augmented reality features by passing live video from front-facing headsets to the screen, which avoids some of holographic AR’s tradeoffs but doesn’t offer the same fidelity as real-world vision. And in both cases, a major factor is seemingly recruiting developers to their respective platforms — before the other gains a decisive advantage in the still-emerging field of mixed reality.