Apple AR VR Headset: What we know so far

The information we have, and what we expect from Apple's shift to an AR/VR wearable

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The long-awaited Apple AR VR headset might finally be on the horizon. Following the successful path set by Meta with its Quest 2 and Sony with its PSVR 2, it’s clear that Apple cannot afford to trail behind in this burgeoning technological frontier.

With a strategy that mirrors Meta’s, Apple’s VR headset has rapidly become one of the most anticipated devices rumored to make a grand reveal at the forthcoming WWDC event on June 5.

In this article, we will delve into all the details surrounding the highly anticipated Apple AR VR headset. We will shed light on the features it might bring, its potential cost, and the expected release date. So whether you’re a tech enthusiast, a potential investor, or just curious about what’s next in the world of augmented and virtual reality, stick around as we unpack everything we currently know about the Apple AR VR headset.

Apple AR/VR Headset: Release date

Apple’s entry into the augmented and virtual reality space, the AR VR headset, is reportedly on the horizon. Expected to be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2023 on June 5, anticipation for this device is palpable.

According to supply chain reports, the headset is in the “delivery stage”, meaning it’s being readied for mass production post-WWDC launch. However, there seems to be a degree of uncertainty at Apple. Some insiders suggest that the design team has reservations about the readiness of the device for market launch.

Previous rumors pointed to a 2022 release, which then shifted to a projected January 2023 launch. But with neither of these dates coming to fruition, Apple enthusiasts and tech pundits alike are eagerly waiting for Apple’s keynote at the WWDC on June 5. It is hoped that this event will finally provide a confirmed launch timeline for the long-awaited Apple AR VR headset.

Apple AR VR Headset: Price

Ming-Chi Kuo stands out as the most pertinent analyst and trustworthy Apple oracle, who previously predicted that Apple will release the VR/AR headset in January 2023, with a second version (along with a less expensive variant) allegedly following in 2025.

Kuo describes Apple as “a game-changer for the headset industry” in his article, which examines various aspects of the VR headset market. According to reports, Apple’s rumored VR headset could cost as much as $3,000. However, Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that the final cost should be between $2,000 and $2,500.

This exorbitant price tag implies that the device is aimed primarily at developers, not everyday consumers. The rationale behind the hefty price is linked to the advanced mixed reality technology incorporated in the headset. It’s expected to boast two high-performance chips and 12 cameras, thereby delivering an immersive and sophisticated AR and VR experience.

Comparatively, this price point significantly exceeds that of other offerings in the market. For instance, Sony’s PSVR 2 is priced at $550 (which also necessitates the purchase of a $500 PS5), and Meta plans to release the Quest 3 this fall for $499.99. Even the Meta Quest Pro, initially priced at $1499, has seen a reduction and now stands at $999.99.

Apple AR VR headset: features and specifications

Tracking cameras

Mixed reality is the Apple headset’s primary feature. Reports suggest that the headgear will have external cameras, which Apple is now using to test functions like hand-tracking and gesture control. This could pave the way for virtual keyboards to type in the air, making it more immersive and intuitive.

Furthermore, it has been reported that the headset would feature around 12 tracking cameras that will send information to two 8K displays located directly in front of the user’s eyes.

Adding to the device’s versatility, rumors suggest the inclusion of a ‘reality dial.’ This unique feature would permit users to transition smoothly between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), thereby optimizing the overall user experience.

RAM and Processor

Under the hood, the Apple AR VR headset is expected to be powered by the new M2 chip, backed by a generous 16GB of RAM. This powerful setup would facilitate seamless performance and allow the headset to handle demanding tasks effectively.

Moreover, a more recent report from Kuo claims the headgear would include two processors, indicating Apple won’t be cutting corners about power.

Kuo continues by saying, “The lower-end processor will be responsible for sensor-related computation, while the higher-end processor will have the equivalent computing capacity to the M1 for Mac.”

The device is expected to come bundled with a 96W MacBook charger, and rumors suggest it will also feature an external battery pack. This additional battery unit is believed to offer approximately 2 hours of battery life, thereby providing users with extended playtime for their AR and VR experiences.

Gestures

Other anticipated features, like finger movements, may be included. In addition, recent Apple filings (as reported by Techradar) suggest the company plans to merge wearables with Apple Glasses and its VR/AR mixed reality headset.

These innovations would enable users to make finger gestures using wearables like two Apple Watches and a VR glove. Users may be able to do various actions with these gestures, such as scrolling across pages.

Apple has been developing smart rings that the headset can use to track finger and hand movements, according to a patent found by Apple Insider. Apple could use this to enhance the capability of the external cameras when used with a virtual reality or mixed reality headset.

The patent also mentions the ability to recognize objects the user is holding. Accordingly, the headset will adjust its functionality based on what it perceives you want to do. Therefore, holding an Apple Pencil will still recognize that you prefer to write by hand than to type.

Apple AR/VR Headset, a myth or reality?

Apple seems to be working on at least two augmented reality projects. The first is a headset that will be available in 2023, and the second is a more stylish pair of glasses.

Will the VR/AR headsets be worth the price? Unfortunately, making decisions based on rumors is difficult because there are no official comments about the pricing or specifications.

While the anticipation for the Apple AR VR headset is undeniably high, the supposed price tag presents a significant concern. Standing at a whopping $3,000 or $2,500, the headset seems to be designed with high-end consumers in mind, specifically those in the developer sector. But even for this demographic, the price might prove too steep.

The VR market, though growing rapidly, is still in a relatively nascent stage. Consumers and developers alike are still testing the waters and familiarizing themselves with the technology. In this setting, affordability could be a critical factor in determining market success.

Apple’s chief competitor in this space, Meta, presents an interesting case study. Despite initially launching their Meta Quest Pro at a considerably high price of $1499, they had to bring the price down to $999.99. This adjustment suggests that even for advanced, feature-packed headsets, there might be a ceiling to how much consumers are willing to pay.

FAQ

What does Apple AR do?

Apple’s AR technology allows for the creation of immersive and engaging experiences that blend virtual objects with the real world. Through the device’s camera, the device creates the illusion that the virtual objects are part of the actual environment.

Is Apple developing AR/VR?

Apple is reportedly developing at least two AR/VR devices. One of these is a mixed reality headset, rumored to be released in 2023, which combines elements of both augmented reality and virtual reality. Another device, expected to be more affordable, is also under development but the release date is yet to be confirmed. These developments indicate Apple’s intent to play a significant role in the future of AR/VR technology.