Apple’s AR/VR Headset to Use Iris Scanning for Apple Pay: Report

After Touch ID and Face ID, one of Apple’s upcoming products will bring an entirely new form of secure authentication for sign-ins and payments: iris scanning.

According to The Information, Apple’s first AR/VR headset will feature technology that will enable users to use Apple Pay, make payments, and sign into accounts by simply scanning their eyes.

“Apple’s device is expected to have the ability to scan the irises of people wearing the headsets so they can quickly log into their accounts simply by putting the devices on their heads,” the publication reported. The news comes from two people who helped develop Apple’s mixed reality headset.

“The capability will make it easier for multiple people to use the same device and allow them to quickly make payments inside the headset, just as iPhones allow people to confirm payments using scans of their fingerprints or faces.”

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo originally tipped advanced eye-tracking tech for Apple’s mixed reality headset back in 2021. Iris scanning, however, takes that to the next level. The feature could even make it easier for multiple individuals to use the headset and have it instantly switch to their preferences or profiles as soon as they put it on.

In addition to authentication, Apple’s headset will also use its iris scanning capabilities to track the wearer’s eyes and reduce graphical fidelity in their peripheral vision accordingly. This measure will help reduce the overall graphical processing load.

The Information also came bearing some good news for those with less-than-perfect eyesight. According to the report, Apple’s first mixed-reality headset will let users magnetically mount custom prescription lenses inside the device.

The headset will supposedly look like “a pair of ski goggles,” the publication noted. Apple’s design focuses on making the headset as sleek and light as possible, with the headset made largely out of “mesh fabrics, aluminum and glass.”

The device will sport a total of 14 cameras, including two downward-facing ones pointed toward the wearer’s legs. Looks like Apple won’t have to use motion capture to demo leg tracking on their headset, unlike AR/VR rival Meta.

The headset will be powered by an M2 chip alongside a mixed reality-focused co-processor, which will drive multiple 4K micro OLED displays and a see-through AR mode.

Previous reports have indicated Apple’s first mixed-reality headset will be a premium offering and may cost around $3,000 USD (approximately $3,900 CAD). Apple is expected to launch its first AR/VR headset early next year.

If iris scanning makes it into the final product, Apple will already have one-upped Meta’s recently unveiled and pretty pricey Quest Pro headset for features. What features do you want Apple’s first AR/VR headset to have? Let us know in the comments below.

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