Even though the release of Apple’s Reality Pro mixed-reality headset is probably still a few months away, the company’s top-secret concepts are already starting to circulate. The most recent leak reveals an odd vision for how you might be able to control things in Apple’s metaverse.
Apple is reportedly experimenting with the idea of utilizing an Apple Pencil as a kind of virtual reality (VR) controller, according to a recently granted patent (number 2023/0042447 A1). The concept is to overlay augmented reality (AR) features with your hand holding the Apple Pencil, displaying it in the mixed-reality environment you see through the headset.
Apple claims that sensors or cameras, such as those built into mixed reality headsets, might record a picture of your hand holding an Apple Pencil. The patent goes on to describe how you could create “pencil-like marks” in the virtual world with that. A virtual meeting room where you can write on a whiteboard and watch the Apple Pencil make the lines in real time is one example.
In a similar manner, you could turn the Apple Pencil over and use its blunt end as a sort of virtual eraser to remove the pixel markings you had just produced in the mixed-reality segment.
Hand-tracking and gesture control
It’s a fairly cool concept and gives us a glimpse of what Apple might allow you to do with your hands when wearing the Reality Pro headset. We’ve seen a number of Apple’s concepts so far, some of which incorporate current Apple goods.
A prior approved patent, for instance, demonstrated how two Apple Watches could be used to capture hand motions in the metaverse. Another of Apple’s proposals showed tiny gadgets the size of thimbles attached to a user’s fingers, which would record hand gestures and translate them into mixed reality.
The advantage of the Apple Pencil concept is that since many Apple fans already own one, it might not be necessary for many others to make a separate purchase. That would make it more affordable than a setup where you had to buy a set of VR thimbles on top of the already expensive headgear.
This does not imply that Apple will definitely follow this path. The fact that the information is based on a patent raises the possibility that it will never be implemented and is merely a concept that Apple is exploring but will never implement.