Okay, that's pretty futuristic.

Apple of the Eye

On Monday, Apple made a huge splash by revealing its long-awaited Vision Pro mixed-reality headset.

The headset, which will retail for an eye-watering $3,499, still impressed observers with a sleek design and inteferace, as well as high degree of audiovisual fidelity and — maybe most importantly — a vision for augmented reality that goes beyond Facebook's much-lampooned metaverse.

It's radically new ground for Apple, which has waited for years to enter a market that has already failed to get much of the mainstream on board, even with headsets that cost only a small fraction of what Apple will be charging.

Still, there are aspects that feel buzzy and fresh. Even unlocking the device — the equivalent of Face ID on your iPhone — is a sizable step forward for the tech giant. During the setup process, the headset can register your eyes via a feature called Optic ID by scanning your irises. Sure it's a little creepy from a privacy standpoint, but it just feels so refreshingly sci-fi.

Game Scan

As The Verge points out, it's the company's third biometric authentication system, expanding on Touch ID, a fingerprint-scanning tech, and the aforementioned Face ID, which scans your entire face with infrared light.

Apple has also historically limited sensitive biometric data to a carved-out space on its device's storage. The Vision Pro will be no different, and will store iris data on a Secure Enclave partition.

But whether the tech giant's new eye-scanning tech will be more secure than previous attempts remains to be seen. Samsung introduced an iris scanner in its S8 smartphone back in 2017 — which was promptly fooled by hackers using an IR image and a contact lens.

Given Apple's track record, however, the company likely didn't skimp on data security or privacy.

The concerns could extend beyond mere data security, though. Experts have warned that Meta-formerly-Facebook, for instance, could be harvesting facial recognition data with its Quest line of virtual reality headsets to glean a person's interests or emotional state.

In the end, like everything else involving the high-stakes headset, we'll probably just have to see it in action.

More on the headset: Apple's Bizarre Headset Has Front-Facing Screen Showing User's Eyes

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