Apple hasn’t released a new product category since the HomePod launched in 2018, and there hasn’t been a new wearable since the Apple Watch debuted in 2015. That should change in the not-too-distant future. , as Apple’s AR/VR headset is nearing completion and will likely see a 2023 launch.

Rumors of the first Apple-branded head-worn AR/VR product have been circulating for years now, so we thought it would be helpful to provide a quick overview of what’s to come, including the most up-to-date information. recent on realityOS.

Hardware Features

  • General design – Apple’s headset won’t be too different from the Oculus Quest VR headset, with a curved visor that slides over the eyes and a comfortable mesh base that rests against the face. The visor will completely cover the eyes, blocking peripheral vision to prevent light leaks.
  • Headband – The helmet will be held in place by an adjustable and interchangeable headband which could be made from a material similar to an Apple Watch Sport strap.
  • Weight – Apple wants the final version of the headphones to weigh between 100 and 200 grams. It would be much lighter and more comfortable than something like the Oculus Quest 2, which weighs 503 grams. Prototypes weigh around 300 grams, so Apple may not be able to get the headset weight as low as its aim.
  • Spatial audio – One of the headbands Apple is testing has spatial audio technology for a surround sound experience.
  • To display – Apple’s AR/VR headset is expected to adopt two high-resolution 4K micro OLED displays provided by Sony for a high-quality viewing experience at up to 3000 pixels per inch.
  • Cameras – The headset will be equipped with more than a dozen optical cameras for hand motion tracking, eye tracking, environment mapping, projection of visual experiences, and more.
  • Control methods – Apple can support multiple input methods, including hand gestures, eye tracking and iris recognition, and a fingertip controller. It will also detect skin and could monitor expression.
  • chips – Two Mac-level Apple silicon chips should be used in the AR/VR headset to provide the computing power that Apple wants. The headset should be a standalone device that doesn’t depend on the iPhone or Mac for processing power.

Software Features

  • realityOS – Apple is designing a new operating system for the headset, and it should be called “realityOS”. Again this week, references to realityOS were found in Apple’s source code.
  • App store – With a new operating system, the AR/VR headset will have a dedicated App Store. Apple will focus on games, video content streaming and video conferencing.
  • Multimedia content – Apple may consider working with media partners to create content that can be viewed in virtual reality.
  • FaceTime VR – Apple is rumored to be working on a VR FaceTime-like experience with Animojis and other 3D features.

Pricing

BloombergMark Gurman speculated that the helmet would sell for over $2,000, and Information estimates it could cost around $3,000.

Release date

Apple has repeatedly pushed back the planned release schedule for the AR/VR headset as it continues to iron out development issues. There were several rumors suggesting that we would see the debut of the helmet at the WWDC 2022 event, but Bloomberg‌Mark Gurman‌ recently said that Apple may delay the headset further until 2023.

At this point, it looks like we’ll have to wait until 2023 to see the headset launch, although there’s still a small possibility it’ll see a 2022 announcement to give developers time to get apps ready for the device. Apple is reportedly targeting the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference for a launch.

As for development issues, Apple has heat dissipation issues due to the high-powered processor, and there are still camera and software issues to be resolved.

Read more

For all the rumors about Apple’s AR/VR headset, we have a dedicated rumor roundup that pulls together all the information we know so far.

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