Bloomberg reports that the headset combines virtual reality with augmented reality. It will mark the company’s first major product category since its Apple Watch launched in 2015. Apple’s board has been shown a mixed reality headset, which could indicate that it is likely to launch its next product soon.
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It combines virtual and augmented reality functionality. This headset would be Apple’s first significant product category since 2015’s introduction of the Apple Watch. Apple has also increased the development of its reality OS (rOS), which will run on the headset. This suggests that the headset may launch in the coming months.
Apple plans to release the headset by the end of 2022, or possibly next year. A consumer release is planned for 2023.
It is expected that the virtual reality headset will have exterior cameras that stream images to high resolution displays inside the interior, using “pass-through” Augmented Reality. It also features advanced processors similar to the ones used in the latest Macs, along with ultra-high-resolution screens.Bloomberg said that while the first model will feature both VR and AR, Apple is also developing stand-alone AR glasses, codenamed N421, that will be released later this decade. AR overlays digital information on top of the real-world.
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Current device codenamed N301, has been in development since around 2015
Bloomberg reports that the team behind the device’s development has encountered many difficulties, including finding content and applications that would be popular. Bloomberg stated that some of the technical difficulties have been overheating and refining onboard cameras.
Bloomberg reported that the company is working on AR versions of its iPhone apps, as well as new apps that can stream immersive content and hold virtual meetings.
Although no pricing information was available at the time, some reports suggest that the headset would retail for around $3,000.
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Jony Ive was Apple’s former chief design officer. He reportedly opposed the release of a virtual reality headset and preferred the idea for augmented-reality glasses. Bloomberg reports that Ive, who left Apple in 2019, also rejected a plan to create a standalone headset. Instead, he proposed a wireless pairing with a hub inside a home.
When it launches, the mixed-reality headset will undoubtedly face competition from tech giants like Meta, Sony, and Microsoft. Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO, showed off the company’s Project Cambria VR headset. It is similar to Apple’s and will include pass-through AR. The company stated that it will cost more than $800.
Google is also developing AR glasses that can be used alone.
According to IDC, the market for AR headsets and VR headsets grew 92% to more than 11 million units last year. The market leader is Meta’s Quest 2 headset, which will account for 78% of all sales by 2021. The company lost $10 billion as Meta expands into the metaverse.
Bloomberg stated that Apple’s entry into the market for mixed-reality headsets will likely increase industry sales.
Apple has not confirmed the existence of a headset. However, its Technology Design Group division has employed approximately 2,000 people to work on VR and AR technology. Apple has already released ARkit software to the iPhones, which allows apps overlay digital images using the camera.
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The company will hold its annual WWDC developer conference virtual in June. A keynote presentation typically includes announcements regarding new products. Apple also hosts launch events for its new iPhones in the fall.