With nearly three years behind schedule, Apple’s mixed reality headset is finally on the starting blocks. At least almost… The announcement was expected for the month of April, but Apple has decided to postpone its launch to June, during its WWDC conference.
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Unsurprisingly, Apple has again postponed the launch of its futurevirtual reality headsetand increased, already postponed multiple times since its initial launch date scheduled for 2019. The firm had not officially communicated a date, but several sources were counting on a launch this spring. According to Bloomberg , Apple has finally decided to postpone the presentation of the helmet for two months.
This therefore means that the announcement should be made at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. A choice that will allow the manufacturer to solve the latest technical problems and above all to present it directly to the developers. Apple will need to seduce them in order to be able to offer enough content to the general public when its headphones are available for purchase.
A top-of-the-range helmet, very expensive…
As a reminder, this is a high-end mixed reality headset, integrating both theaugmented realityand virtual reality . The device will no doubt be called Reality Pro , with a newoperating systemxrOS. There will be a store ofappswith 3D versions of basic apps like Messages, Mail, Safari and Apple TV. The helmet will integrate two microphone displaysOLED4K with a 120 degree field of view as well as numerous cameras for tracking eyes, facial expressions, as well as the body (hands and legs).
Regarding the price, specialists in Apple products give estimates between 2,000 and 3,000 dollars, but more and more lean towards the high end of the range. We would therefore be at almost twice the price of the Meta Quest Pro . Only the Microsoft Hololens 2 are more expensive, displayed at $3,500. Apple is also said to be working on another, cheaper headset that won’t be released until at least 2024.
Apple’s mixed reality headset should finally soon point the tip of its nose
Apple’s long-awaited augmented and virtual reality headset is finally on the way. According to sources, the firm could unveil the device in the spring, for a launch later this year.
After long years of development, it looks like Apple is finally getting ready to unveil its first mixed reality headset. The device, which will allow the brand to tackle Meta on the field ofmetaverse, could be called “Reality Pro”. The official announcement is expected to come in the spring, ahead of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The date has been pushed back several times, with Apple initially hoping to launch the headset in 2019.
The device should offer both augmented and virtual reality, with two micro Oled displays4Kwhich provide a 120 degree field of view. He would ship theprocessorM2 from Apple in order to be able to function autonomously, in the manner of Quest 2 and Quest Pro from Meta. The helmet will integrate more than a dozen cameras andsensorslocated inside and outside the device. He can thus follow themovementof the eyes, notably allowing foveal rendering, improving the quality of the image in the center of the gaze and limiting the quality around it in order to save resources.
A headset with body and facial expression tracking
The headset will also be able to track facial expressions, body and even leg movements, allowing avatars to be fully animated in virtual worlds . A screen on the outside of the helmet will display the expression of the wearer so as not to isolate him from his entourage in the real world. The battery would be deported and would cling to the waist in order to reduce the weight of the helmet. The user can therefore simply replace the battery rather than having to wait for the charge or use the headphones while plugged in with a long and awkward cable. The operating system, known until now as Reality OS or rOS, would eventually be called xrOS (XR being the abbreviation of mixed reality).
According to previous information, the announcement of the helmet was expected for this month. However, according to brand specialist Ming-Chi Kuo, component testing and developmentsoftwareheadphones have lagged behind. As a result, the device is unlikely to be available until Q3 2023. Apple has reportedly already sent copies to a small number of third-party developers, confirming that the launch is near, and the headset may be officially announced. from this spring.
The helmet would have priority over other products of the brand
Apple is said to be prioritizing headphones right now, which would have implications for the brand’s other products. On the software side, with developers focused on xrOS, the number of new features in iOS 17 and macOS 14 would be reduced from those originally planned. On the hardware side, Apple has nothing notable planned for itsiPad, Apple Watch and audio accessories. Even the new iPad Pro model with an OLED display won’t be launched until 2024.
Regarding the price of the headset, current estimates are between $2,000 and $3,000. It would therefore be more expensive than the Meta Quest Pro , its main competitor, currently sold for 1,799 euros.
Features of Apple’s first VR and AR headset revealed
Expected at the end of 2022, Apple’s first headset combining augmented and virtual reality should have two micro Oled 4K displays and chip power.M1already present in the new Macbooks.
As soon as Apple gives signs of interest in a technology, rumors start flowing and analysts take advantage of it to create buzz. This is the case of Ming Chi Kuo, a brand expert, whose predictions almost always turn out to be correct. It’s been several months that it is assumed that the brand is developing an augmented reality headset also capable of displaying virtual reality. It must be said that, as Meta/Facebook puts the pack on the metaverse, it is better not to miss the boat.
However, according to the information collected by the analyst, this VR helmet would be equipped with the powerful M1 chip which now equips Macbooks and the iPad Pro . Suffice to say that it will be designed to operate independently like the Oculus Quest 2 , but in an ultra-vitamin version. Another processor, a little less powerful, should also be present in order to manage the calculations related to the various sensors.
The replacement for the iPhone in ten years
According to the analyst, to correctly display the augmented reality, the helmet actually requires this additional chip to manage the 6 to 8 optical modules which should equip the helmet in order to deliver the augmented reality display. As for the displays intended for virtual reality, the expert points out that the technology used for the screens would come from Sony and that they would be micro Oled tiles. Still according to Ming Chi Kuo, the Apple-stamped VR helmet could be released at the end of 2020. Finally, the expert affirms that, within ten years, this type of helmet could well replace the iPhone .