Everything you need to know about Apple’s VR/AR headset

Woman wearing VR headset in front of pink purple gradient background

Christina Annibali / EyeEm

What is this Apple headset?

The Apple Mixed Reality Headset refers to Apple’s take on virtual/augmented reality headsets. Apple’s rendition will perform the same functions as the headsets currently on the market, but it will make room for more advanced technology. Apple hasn’t confirmed the headset’s existence; However, Apple analysts and enthusiasts have been keeping a close eye on Apple’s activities and finding clues about the headset’s specifications. Here’s everything we know.

What will the Apple headset be called?

The filed patents point us to the name of the Apple headset, which includes the word “Reality.” In August, Bloomberg reported that a shell company linked to law firms previously used by Apple for the names “Reality One,” “Reality Pro” and “Reality Processor” filed trademark applications in multiple countries.

A few months before that, another Shell company filed two patents for “RealityOS,” which could refer to the software used by the headset. It’s not unusual for a big tech company like Apple to use a shell company to keep it secret. Before announcing the macOS names Yosemite and Monterey, Apple used a shell company called “Yosemite Research LLC” to register the names.

How much is the headset expected to cost?

According to Bloomberg, the headset can be expected to cost between $2,000 and $3,000 due to the M2 chip it uses, high-end cameras, and high-resolution displays. This places Apple’s headset at a higher price than its competitors in the market. Meta’s Quest Pro headset retails for $1,500 and HTC Vive Focus 3 for $1,300.

See: Meetings in the Metaverse: Our experience with HTC Vive Sync

When did rumors of an Apple headset concept begin to circulate?

Rumors of a top-secret Apple VR/AR headset began in 2017 when Bloomberg reported on “rOS,” an operating system supposedly created to run the virtual reality product. At the time, Bloomberg predicted the product would be ready to ship as early as 2020, but today, six years after the rumor started, we know how it went.

Now when is the expected release date?

According to the latest predictions, we don’t have to wait much longer despite the constant delays. Initially, the product was expected to launch in 2019, then it was delayed to 2020, 2021, 2022 and now 2023.

Apple was widely expected to launch the product in January 2023, with shipments starting later that year. However, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, that plan also took a detour.

Gurman believes the tech giant will announce the headset this spring ahead of the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. Apple regularly uses WWDC to announce products. At the 2022 WWDC, Apple announced new software updates for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch, as well as the latest iteration of its signature silicon chip.

Apple-focused analyst Ming-Chi Kuo concurred with Gurman’s predictions. Kuo said in December that the launch could be expected in the second half of 2023 due to software issues.

“My latest survey suggests that the mass shipment schedule of Apple’s MR headset may be delayed to 2H23 due to software-related issues (vs. the previous estimate of 2Q23),” Kuo said. Tweet.

Apple has yet to confirm the existence of the headset or when to expect a launch.

Are there prototypes?

Gurman reports that Apple has already shared the product with a few high-profile software developers for testing, meaning a finished product or at least a prototype is already out there. According to Bloomberg, the internal codename for Apple’s first headset is N301. A later model, the N602, and a lightweight pair of reality glasses codenamed the N421 are expected to hit the market by the end of the decade.

Don’t already have headsets that can be used with Apple products?

If you want to explore AR/VR with your Apple device, there are devices on the market that allow you to do just that. Meta’s Quest 2 is on the lower side of headset prices without compromising on value. ZDNET ranked it as the best VR headset overall due to its easy setup, comfortable controls, excellent tracking, and high-resolution display.

See: Meet the companies shaping the metaverse

If you’re a proud owner of the Apple ecosystem, one of the best and most affordable options is the HoloKit X. This headset leverages Apple’s technology to create an unforgettable AR experience. The iPhone acts as the eyes of the headset, all you have to do is pair. to an app to carry it forward. The headset also has Apple Watch integration, which enables motion tracking on your wrist, allowing you to play games that require hand movement. To see ZDNET editor Kerry Wan using the headset in her AR experience, click here.

Who is the intended audience for the headset?

The Apple headset is considered a top of the line headset full of bells and whistles that will suit professionals or people who are really invested in AR/VR. If you’re interested in exploring and playing with AR/VR, a more affordable and current headset might be a better option for you.

How will Apple’s launch affect the industry?

With talk of a potential metaverse on the horizon, more companies are developing AR/VR headsets, and interest in the space continues to grow. In typical Apple fashion, the tech giant waited for other companies to try their hand and build public interest to finally enter the arena.

The first modern AR/VR headset, the Oculus Rift, launched in March 2016. Since then, Meta, which acquired Oculus in 2014, has continued to develop and launch VR/AR sets, culminating in its latest 2022 headset, the Meta Quest Pro. . Apple waited those six years while Meta was growing in the space.

“After the launch of the Apple AR/MR headset, I think Apple’s global competitors will race to imitate it, driving the headset hardware industry to the next stage of rapid growth and benefiting the related services and content ecosystem,” Kuo wrote.

In the past, when Apple finally chose to enter a space, it revolutionized, dominated, generated new interest, and raised the bar for the product. It’s reasonable to assume that Apple will have the same effect in the AR/VR space when the headset drops.


Also Read :  Is the metaverse really the future of work?

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