How Apple’s Upcoming Mixed-Reality Headset Will Work
For quite some time, rumors have been flying around that Apple has been working on a new headset product that will combine virtual and augmented reality. This week a big leak has been reported on by Bloomberg that seems to indicate that things have developed quite a bit. The leak includes technical specs and even details of potential third-party deals to bring different types of content to the new headset. Let’s check it out.
A quick look at the competitors
Before getting into the leaked details of the new Apple headset it is worth taking a quick look at the wider market it will be entering. When this device is launched, it will be joining the likes of Oculus, HTC, and PlayStation in the market. However, unlike its rivals, Apple's device will have an interface that is similar to that of an iPhone or iPad and will offer many of the different functions already available across Apple devices, thus making it easy for Apple users to operate. This isn’t to say that it won’t also work with the likes of Meta’s grand plans for virtual metaverses, but it does indicate a different approach to those that we’ve seen before. An approach that is very on-brand for Apple.
Different types of reality (XR, VR, AR, and MR)
The device, which is rumored to be called "Reality Pro" will be able to switch between different forms of reality, including XR (extended reality), VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), and MR (mixed reality). While VR is a completely virtual environment that blocks out the wearer's surroundings, AR, on the other hand, superimposes virtual objects on top of the real world. MR fuses the real and virtual worlds together with XR being a handy moniker that encompasses all the different features available through VR, AR, and MR.
— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) January 24, 2023
The device will come with an external battery pack that will be about the size of two iPhone 14 Pro Max models. It should power the device for about two hours and will be external to prevent overheating causing user discomfort. The device will be powered by proprietary Apple Mac chips and should also have 4K micro-OLED displays, more than a dozen cameras, iris tracking, facial expression detection, and more.
The device has a wide range of applications, including video conferencing, entertainment, and gaming. Apple adding FaceTime will also bring videoconferencing and meeting rooms to the device. According to the leaks, users’ faces and bodies will be rendered in virtual reality for meetings and conversations. The avatars will also be available to use for one-to-one chats. Memojis will also have a role to play too whenever there are multiple participants involved in a conversation. Also, the headset will also work as an external monitor for a Mac.
It also looks like Apple is looking at new and engaging ways to show regular content in VR such as watching movies in the desert or while in space and has reportedly signed deals with Disney among other content creators, and is also working on adapting Apple TV+ content too.
— Roland Nasr (@Rolandnasr) January 24, 2023
Pricing and release details
The device is expected to be launched at some point in 2023 and will likely be sold for about $3,000. If this eye-watering figure sounds way beyond your budget, it is worth noting that rumored prices for Apple products such as the iPad have often been higher than the products have eventually launched at. Apple is also planning to build dedicated areas in Apple Stores where the device can be demonstrated and tested after its launch to help build a buzz around the new product line.
Will these new Apple headsets be made in the same Foxconn factories where the iPhones are built? If so, will they have the same number of workers on the production lines that we saw in yesterday’s report?Advertisement