The VR/AR headset comes from Apple. Here’s everything we know so far

Woman wearing a VR headset in front of a violet-pink gradient background

Christina Anbali / EyeEm

What is this Apple headset?

Apple’s Mixed Reality Headset is Apple’s take on virtual reality/augmented reality headsets. The Apple version will offer many of the same functions as the headphones on the market now, but will likely incorporate more advanced technologies. Virtual reality headsets are pretty much the cutting edge of consumer technology right now, and Meta, Google, and other big tech companies have been eyeing the space for years now, so it’s no surprise that Apple would want to get involved, too. Apple tends to wait and see when it comes to new products rather than being the first to bring them to market. The question is whether the market for VR and AR headsets (and consumer interest in them) has really reached the point where Apple needs to get involved.

The headset has been rumored for years, but there’s very little solid evidence of its existence, aside from a few comments from senior Apple executives and a steady stream of rumours. Apple certainly hasn’t confirmed the headset’s existence; However, Apple analysts and fans kept a close eye on Apple’s activities and managed to look for clues about the headphone’s specifications. Here is everything we know.

What would you call the Apple headset?

Registered Patents Directory Us in the name of the Apple headset, which will include the word “Reality”. Last August, Bloomberg reported that a shell company, linked to law firms previously employed by Apple, had filed trademark applications in several countries for the names “Reality One,” “Reality Pro,” and “Reality Processor.”

Two months before that, I filed another shell company Two patents for “RealityOS” which may indicate which software the headset will use. It is not unusual for a large company like Apple to use a shell company to maintain secrecy. Before announcing macOS Yosemite and Monterey, Apple used the shell company “Yosemite Research LLC” to register the names.

How much is the headset expected to cost?

According to BloombergWe can expect the headset to cost between $2,000 and $3,000 due to the M2 chip it will use and the large number of cameras and high-resolution screens. This puts the Apple headset at a higher price point than its competitors in the market. The Meta Quest Pro headset retails for $1,500 and the HTC Vive Focus 3 for $1,300.

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When did rumors about the Apple Headphones concept start circulating?

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

What is the expected release date now?

According to the latest forecasts, we shouldn’t wait any longer, despite the constant delays. Initially, the product was expected to be launched in 2019, then it was pushed back to 2020, 2021, 2022, and now 2023.

The general expectation was that Apple would launch the product in January 2023 and track shipments later that year. However, that plan has also taken a turn, according to Bloomberg correspondent Mark Gorman.

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

Apple-focused analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s forecast also aligns with Gurman’s. In December, Kuo said that we can expect the launch to happen in the second half of 2023 due to software-related issues.

“My latest survey indicates that Apple’s MR headphones group shipment schedule may be delayed to 2H23 due to software-related issues (vs. previous estimate 2Q23),” Kuo said in a statement. tweet.

Apple has yet to confirm the headset’s existence or when we can expect it to launch.

Are there prototypes?

Gurman reports that Apple has already shared the product with a small number of high-profile developers for testing, indicating that a near-finished product, or at least a prototype, already exists. The internal code name of Apple’s first headphone is N301, According to Bloomberg. A later model, the N602, and a lightweight set of augmented reality glasses codenamed N421 can be expected to be released towards the end of the decade.

Aren’t there headphones you can use with Apple products already?

If you really want to explore AR/VR with your Apple device, there are already devices on the market that allow you to do so. Meta’s Quest 2 falls on the lower side of the headset’s pricing without compromising value. Ranked by ZDNET As the best VR headset due to its easy setup, comfortable controls, excellent tracking, and high-resolution screen.

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If you’re a proud owner of the Apple ecosystem, the HoloKit X is a great, affordable option. This headset uses Apple technology to create an unforgettable augmented reality experience. to an application to start working. The headset also has Apple Watch integration that enables motion tracking on your wrist, allowing you to play games that require hand movement. Watch ZDNET editor Kairi Wan use a headset and cast spells in an augmented reality experience, click here.

Who is the target audience for the headset?

Apple’s headset is expected to be one of the best headsets full of bells and whistles that would be perfect for professionals or people who are already invested in AR/VR. If you are only interested in exploring and playing with AR/VR, then an affordable headset might be a better option for you.

How will the launch of Apple affect the industry?

With talks 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 until other companies tried their hand and public interest built up to finally enter the scene.

The first modern augmented reality/virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift, launched in March 2016. Since then, Meta, which acquired Oculus in 2014, has continued to develop and launch VR/AR combos, culminating in its latest 2022 headset — the Meta. Quest Pro. During those six years that Meta continued to grow in the space, Apple waited.

“After Apple releases AR/MR headphones, I believe Apple’s global competitors will compete to imitate it, leading the headset hardware industry into the next stage of rapid growth and utilization of related services and content system,” Ku Books.

In the past, when Apple finally chose to get in, it revolutionized and took control of it, creating new interest and raising product standards. It’s fair to assume that Apple will have the same impact on the AR/VR space when the headset drops.

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