A newsletter by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has revealed that Apple once considered exploring a finger-worn input device. However, the company will rely on hand-tracking and eye-tracking for control in its new Vision Pro headset, which will be released later this year.
Gurman’s newsletter claimed that early on in the creation of the Vision Pro, Apple tested controllers for third-party virtual reality systems made by businesses like HTC. Later, it looked at the finger-worn device; in fact, the company filed a patent for a smart ring in 2015. However, at the time, it appeared that the patent was more for a general wearable device than for a mixed-reality headset.
According to Gurman, the company ultimately decided that employing hand and eye motions to operate the Vision Pro was the “more elegant solution.” The eye tracking is reliable, and you can keep your hands down at your sides or in your lap while tapping your thumb and forefinger together to make selections — there’s no waving your hands around or pointing at things here, according to Nilay Patel, who once tested the headset and called it the “best headset demo ever.”
Evidently, Apple stated at WWDC 2023 that the Vision Pro would continue to support external input devices, such as third-party keyboards and game controllers, so you’ll still have the choice of disregarding the hand controls for some sort of input.