A new report from The Information has shed light on Apple’s upcoming AR/VR headset, set to be released in 2023. Though Apple has not officially confirmed the product, patents and leaks suggest that the company has been actively researching AR wearables. According to the report, the headset is expected to be lightweight, potentially due to the battery being worn around the waist. It will also feature a hot-swap design for the battery, which should improve the reported one-to-two-hour battery life.
As an Apple product, it is expected that the new headset will be made of premium materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber, and glass. This beast will be equipped with powerful silicon that could match the performance of a Mac computer. It is rumored to have a wide field of view of 120 degrees, which would be superior to many other VR headsets on the market. The headset is also expected to have a Fresnel’s hybrid ultra-short focal length lenses and OLED displays with a pixel density of 3,000 PPI. All packed into super-thin optics and the possibility of built-in speakers. Some reports suggest that it may also include an H2 chip for ultra-low latency connection to the next generation of Apple’s AirPods Pro. The headset is expected to be particularly well-suited for gaming, communication, and media consumption. The headset will reportedly include a color passthrough feature that allows users to see the real world while wearing it. To switch between the real world and a mixed reality view, it is said that the headset will feature a digital crown similar to the one found on the Apple Watch and AirPods Max. This control can be rotated to toggle between the two views.
Here are some renders from Ian’s concept for the Apple View mixed reality headset which are reportedly based on the report from The Information covering the link. It’s important to note that the final design of the headset has not been officially announced or confirmed by Apple.
The headset will reportedly have a variety of input methods, including hand gesture detection, eye tracking, iris recognition, voice control, skin detection, facial expression detection, and spatial detection. It will also have 15 camera modules to support these features. This wide range of input methods will allow users to interact with the headset in multiple ways and could enhance the overall user experience.
According to the report, one notable aspect of the new Apple AR/VR headset is the ability to run iOS apps in a two-dimensional view. This would give users instant access to a vast selection of apps and provide added value while developers work on creating apps specifically for the headset. In the future, apps for the headset may be developed using Apple’s Reality Kit software, and it is possible that the widely used Unity developers kit may also be supported. The high cost of the headset, reportedly ranging from $2,000 to $3,000, may be a challenge for Apple as they try to establish their first foray into the VR market.
According to reports, Apple’s first mixed reality headset is expected to go into production in the fourth quarter of 2022, with a launch date likely occurring sometime between late 2022 and early 2023. The price is expected to range from $1,000 to $3,000. In addition, the company is reportedly working on a second-generation headset for 2024, which is expected to have a lighter design, improved battery life, and faster performance. Apple is also said to be developing AR glasses, which are expected to launch at a later date and could potentially be the last major product launch for CEO Tim Cook.