Apple’s mixed reality headset is expected to be unveiled on June 5th. More details about its design are being revealed. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reports that the headset’s external battery pack, which will be placed in the user’s pocket while being used, will look similar to Apple’s MagSafe iPhone Battery Pack. It will also use a proprietary connector for attachment to the headset.
The circular connector, which is magnetic, is designed to lock onto the headset with a simple twist. This prevents it from being accidentally removed. The opposite end of cable is hardwired to the battery pack. Bloomberg says that the two are “not separable”. If this cable becomes faulty, there is no way to replace it without buying a new battery pack.
This sounds like a sensible optimization for the magnetic connector, given that it must be strong enough to withstand movement caused by a head-mounted screen but easy to remove and replace when the external battery pack’s two hours of estimated battery life is exhausted. Apple could sell standalone battery packs to meet this need.
The battery pack of the headset is charged via USB-C. It has been described to be similar in size to two iPhone 14 Pro Max smartphones stacked one on top of another.
Bloomberg reported that along with this proprietary power connector the headset may also have a USB C connector to handle data. The report does not provide many details about what data would need to be transferred in order for the headset to function as it was described as a stand-alone device in previous. Maybe it’s to support certain features, like allowing the headset to serve as an external Mac Monitor.
Apple’s Studio Display uses a proprietary power cable that is not removable . It seems reasonable to include a connector that was designed for headsets. The reason I don’t want to connect all of these devices together is that standard interoperable cables make it easier to find a replacement cable when one breaks.