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Apple VR/AR headset — every rumors we know so far

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Apple is rumored to be working on a virtual and augmented reality headset.

Rumors and stories about Apple’s virtual and augmented reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) headsets continue to surface. When it comes to augmented reality, CEO Tim Cook has dubbed it “critically vital” and one of the “very few deep technologies.” Cook also previewed Apple’s VR/AR headset approach in a recent interview with China Daily USA. A dramatic contrast to the metaverse is Cook’s desire to put humans at the heart of their VR/AR strategy.

Apple’s purported VR goals, like those of the Oculus Quest 2 and the PlayStation VR 2, aim to compete with the greatest VR headsets now available.

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While Apple Glasses, as the name suggests, are simply augmented reality, the company’s VR/AR headset is distinct. While Apple’s AR/VR headset is expected to come by the end of this year, these devices are said to be decades away.

We’ve heard a slew of reports about Apple’s virtual and augmented reality products, including the probable pricing and release date of the company’s next generation display technology. Apple VR and mixed reality headsets: everything you need to know.

Apple VR and mixed-reality headset release date speculation

According to rumors, Apple’s AR/VR headset will be released in 2023. Analyst Ming Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman have also reported this, according to the New York Times.

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A number of things are said to be behind Apple’s delay, including Hollywood directors like Jon Favreau creating material for Apple’s AR/VR headsets. Battery life is cited as an issue in the Times piece, as are the concerns of some Apple employees who left the company because they were worried about the headset’s potential impact on how we connect with one another.

On June 8, two days after the World Wide Developers Conference in 2022, Apple plans to seek a trademark for realityOS, according to a rumor in late May. Ahead of the presentation, some speculated that Apple’s AR/VR headset might be shown off.

However, according to Bloomberg, Apple may delay the release of the headset. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the headset will be announced at the end of 2022 or early in 2023, despite the lack of mention at WWDC 2022. As predicted in an April research report by Jeff Pu, Apple’s VR/AR headset is expected to appear in 2023.

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Currently, Ming-Chi Kuo estimates that the headset will go on sale in Q2 2023, following an introduction event in January. Lockdowns in Shanghai have scuppered the development of the headset, he believes.

What this means is that the AR/VR headgear has been demoed to investors by Apple, a good sign it will be released at some time.

This appears to be due to the headset’s intricate design and Apple’s own standards, which are apparently considerably higher than those of competitors’ devices, both of which have contributed to the delay. There have been a number of issues that have hampered the development of the headsets, including employee departures over worries about child safety and screen time, according to another article from The Information.

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Because designing a headgear like this takes time and effort, Apple wants to make sure it’s done well. Another promise made by Kuo is that the headset will be released with all the components it needs to function: hardware, software and services.

Kuo predicts that in 2024(opens in new tab), Apple will unveil a second generation of the Apple headset, which will be lighter and have a quicker processing.

Apple VR and mixed reality headset vs Apple Glass

Supposedly, Apple’s VR and mixed reality headgear is a prelude to the company’s next glass-like wearable, the Apple Glass. “Optical see through AR experience” is what Ming-Chi Kuo claims the lenses will provide.

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(Image credit: Martin Hajek/iDropnews)

According to what we’ve heard, Apple Glass will resemble a normal pair of sunglasses in both appearance and functionality. We’re referring to glasses that are capable of projecting images and information onto their lenses.

If everything goes according to plan, the Apple VR and mixed reality headset will function much like a standard VR headset but with additional capability unlocked by cameras and sensors on the outside.

A virtual and mixed reality headset that includes body tracking will be able to combine real-world environments into a virtual universe. In addition, a see-through experience might be built into the Apple VR headset to give a type of augmented reality. To compare, it’s not a VR-only headset like the Oculus Quest 2.

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But according to Mark Gurman, instead of joining the “metaverse” bandwagon like so many others, the Apple gear will be designed for short forays inside VR. According to reports, Apple has deemed metaverse to be “off bounds.” Metaverse You won’t be able to wear a mixed reality headset all day or utilize it as a substitute for real life.

Apple VR and mixed reality headset rumored price

Apple VR and mixed reality headset prices have been reported in a variety of ways. However, there have been reports that the focus will be on developers, thus pricing may be geared toward luring them in.

When Tim Cook talks about the future of Apple, he doesn’t hold back. Wearable AR headsets are an aspiration of the company, and the headset is said to be the first step in that direction. Preparing developers for the debut of Apple Glass and ensuring that the specs have app support are the primary goals of the headgear. According to sources, the headset’s pricing will reflect the fact that Apple isn’t in it to make money.

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This suggests that Apple is building a product with consumers in mind, as Mark Gurman has indicated that the headset will be heavily focused on gaming, media consumption, and communication. This could lead to a more affordable second-generation headset. The first-generation headset isn’t necessarily going to be cheap, or exclusively targeted for developers.

Even while the price of Apple’s VR and mixed reality headset is expected to be high, reports differ on just how high.

According to The Information, Apple’s VR headset could cost up to $3,000 when it launches. The Microsoft Hololens 2 costs $3,500, which is a lot for a gaming VR headset.

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He believes that the headset might cost up to $2,000. The headset’s hardware, which may incorporate the Apple M1 Pro chip, a longer development period, and the customary markup applied to other Apple goods, are all factored into the pricing.

On the other hand, according to Ming-Chi Kuo’s forecast, it will only cost $1,000. Or the iPhone 12 Pro, if that’s the case. Even while it’s still pricey, the typical developer can now afford it. That’s especially true if the headset’s specs are accurate.

Display Supply Chain Consultants, or DSCC, claims that Apple’s headset will cost “several thousand dollars” in a more recent report.

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There is no doubt that the cost of entry into virtual reality will be prohibitively high, compared to other stand-alone headsets. Contrast this with, say, the Oculus Quest 2, which retails for $300.

Apple VR and mixed reality headset rumored features

It’s important to note that mixed reality is at the heart of the Apple headset. To test capabilities like hand-tracking and gesture control, Mark Gurman says the headgear will have external cameras that are now being used. Virtual keyboards can be used to type in the air, and this is only one of the possibilities.

According to a story from The Information(opens in new tab), the headset would have 12 tracking cameras that can send data to two 8K monitors in front of the user’s eyes for augmented reality experiences. In addition, LiDAR sensors are said to be included in the headset. Display Supply Chain Consultants, or DSCC, reports that Sony is making 4K 4000 x 4000 displays for Apple’s headgear with a 1.4-inch diagonal. This story was challenged by Display Supply Chain Consultants. However, LiDAR was mentioned by DSCC as a potential solution.

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The area of a space may be quickly and reliably measured using LiDAR, which employs lasers to detect distance. Apple’s high-end iPad Pro and iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max have both already been used in this way, as have other high-end smartphones.

According to at least one rumor, Apple isn’t putting much emphasis on games for its next AR/VR headset. That’s a strange choice, given how popular gaming is among early adopters.

According to DSCC, Apple’s headset may house up to three monitors in total. In addition to the two Sony-made 4K panels already stated, there may be a third, larger AMOLED display on the back with a reduced resolution. According to the source, Apple would be able to develop a foveated display as a result of this.

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The fovea, which runs the length of the retina at the rear of the eye, is referred to as a foveated display. To improve central vision, the fovea aids. By using eye tracking, a foveated VR headset might reduce the resolution around the periphery while still focusing a picture on what the user is looking at. FFR, or fixed foveated rendering, is explained well in a YouTube video by SweViver (opens in a new tab).

As a result, all those sensors may not be working independently. User hand tracking and other controls will be made easier with the use of an accessory that looks like a thimble, according to sources cited by The Information.

Gurman’s report indicates that Apple’s “most advanced and powerful CPUs” will be used in the headset, which will require a lot of electricity. It appears that Apple’s virtual reality headset will have a more powerful chip than the recently unveiled M1 Mac chip.

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According to a recent claim from Kuo, the headset will be equipped with a brace of CPUs, indicating that Apple will not be cutting corners when it comes to performance.

While the M1 for Mac has similar processing capabilities, Kuo anticipates that the lower-end processor will be responsible for sensor-related work.

An M2 chip equivalent is rumored to power the headset, according to The Information(opens in new tab). This chip is expected to appear in devices like the next MacBook Air later this year.

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Even with all of that stuff, Kuo says it will take a lot of power to run all of it. So much so, that a MacBook charger appears to be included with the headset to keep everything running.

Not long ago, Kuo revealed that “extremely sensitive 3D sensing modules” could enable the device to have hand gesture controls and object identification features.

Predicts that augmented reality and mixed reality headsets would be able to detect not only changes in the user’s position but also changes in the user’s hand and object. To illustrate his point, Kuo proposed that the machine could create a picture of a balloon flying away as if released when a user’s palm was changed from being gripped to open.

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According to an Apple Insider(opens in new tab) patent, the company has been developing smart rings that can track the movements of the fingers and hands. Virtual and mixed reality headsets could benefit from the use of this technology.

Additionally, the patent cites the ability to recognize the user’s things being held, including an Apple Pencil, As a result, the headset will know what you’re doing and adjust its features accordingly. As a result, if you have an Apple Pencil in your hand, it will recognize that you intend to write something by hand rather than type. In addition,

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst, the company would use “3P pancake lenses,” which are folded lenses that allow light to bounce back and forth between the display and lenses. Using this method, a headset might be designed that is both small and light.

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Wi-Fi 6E capability, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, will allow the headset to connect to a different device and transfer significant amounts of data quickly. There’s no need for an actual wire to connect the headset to another device like an iPhone or Mac, because the headset can be used as an intermediary between these two devices.

Apple will be able to keep the headset’s weight down and extend its battery life by not conducting all of the processing in the headset itself.

Apple VR and mixed reality headset design

There were design sketches provided to The Information in early 2021 for Apple’s possible mixed reality headgear. Based on early prototype work by Apple engineers, this may not accurately represent the final product, so proceed with caution.

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Based on a leak from The Information earlier this year, concept designer Ian Zelbo generated some images of a prospective headset design.

Whatever the style may be, it would be expected from Apple that their new virtual reality headset would be well-designed and user-friendly.

Nonetheless, Ming-Chi Kou claims that when the headgear is released, it would weigh between 300 and 400 grams (about a pound). According to Kou, there is a lighter version in the works for a future release.

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Apple Glasses realityOS

With the mention of “realityOS” in the App Store upload logs by eagle-eyed developers, it appears that Apple will provide a reworked operating system to go along with the new device form factor.

Despite the lack of details, it would make sense for Apple to develop its own OS for its virtual and augmented reality devices. An operating system like this would probably be more in line with iOS than macOS.

Apple VR and mixed reality headset: Will you want to buy it?

According to recent leaks and predictions, Apple’s AR/VR mixed reality headset would be geared toward professionals and developers. Developers will be able to test their augmented reality app ideas on a real device before the Apple Glasses AR specs are released.

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If Apple’s AR/VR headset goes for as much as $3,000, we’ve heard from a number of sources, while other sources say the headgear would cost “several thousand dollars.”

However, with Apple Glasses expected to be some years away, the appeal of the Apple headgear may change over time. In other words, the more time developers have to work on it, the more apps there will be to choose from, and the more fascinating it will be to own. Assuming, of course, that the price does not continue to deter potential customers.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst, a second-generation headgear could be on the way in 2024. He believes this headgear will rival the Oculus Quest 2’s sales of 10 million units. It’s possible that this headset may appeal to a broader range of consumers.

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Apple VR and mixed reality headset wish list: What we want

Most VR headsets aren’t comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time. After around 30 minutes, the level of discomfort begins to rise. Of course, the longer you can keep going, the more comfy the headset is from the outset.

As long as Apple can make the AirPods Pro as unnoticeable as possible, it will be able to do the same with its upcoming mixed reality headset.

Standalone headsets’ battery life isn’t the best it could be right now. Depending on what you’re doing, the Oculus Quest 2 can last anywhere from two to three hours. This is the minimum amount of battery life we expect from Apple’s VR and mixed reality headsets.

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The Apple headset might be a game changer for fitness if it is integrated with Apple Fitness Plus and the Apple Watch. With the help of a personal trainer, you can keep track of your progress while working out.

In order for Apple’s mixed reality headset to kick off its wearable AR initiatives, we want to see some actual AR capabilities. Apple should at the very least do everything it can to ensure that any see-through AR feature is as realistic as possible, even if users are always aware that the headset is in place. There should be no obvious lag, and the field of view should be enough.

It’s a developer device, therefore Apple should make sure there’s a good reason for anyone to buy one. The headset shouldn’t be released just because it’s so pricey. More than just a company logo should entice customers to purchase a product.

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