For the better part of the decade, people have been speculating about the debut of Apple in virtual and augmented reality headsets. Apple’s first VR/AR headset seems like a solid bet at this point, even though 2023 June’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) will unveil more details. Apple’s xrOS headset – the stylized wordmark for ‘extended reality OS’ was registered ahead of the launch.
Albeit the tech giant has never validated working on a headset, Apple’s headset release rumors have been the talk of the town over the years. The latest notch up the rumor mill is that it will be called the ‘Reality Pro’, capable of both augmented reality and virtual reality experiences. Users will be able to transition between AR and VR with the help of a digital crown-style dial.
Apple’s xrOS headset, a ‘mixed reality’ AR/VR headset could virtually cost $3,000. This price point has been rumored more than once but has always stunned the loyal Apple family of users. The reasoning behind why Apple’s augmented reality headset could be tipped to cost a fortune is likely because the xrOS headset is predicted to be targeted to developers and not regular consumer use.
The various components of Apple’s new headset allegedly include the operating system called xrOS, support for FaceTime calls, support for eye and hand tracking, playing games, reading titles off Apple Books, and an external battery pack that is easily fittable in one’s pocket.
CEO Tim Cook has been envisioning AR and VR for almost a decade, promulgating its fundamental importance in bringing people together.
“Take one side of the AR/VR piece – the idea that one could overlay the physical realm with things from the digital space could greatly enhance people’s connection and communication.”
Apple xrOS Headset: VR/AR Headset Hardware Details
Where other VR/AR headsets like the PSVR 2 consist of advanced virtual reality tech, but only cost about $500, Apple’s new headset details up ahead will try to make you understand why the xrOS headset could feel like breaking the bank.
Apple oracle and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has surmised a few attributes on why Apple’s mixed reality headset is estimated at $3,000.
Kuo speculates that the Apple VR/AR headset will have two chips in it with Apple’s in-house design, most probably designed by TSMC. One chip will be analogous to the M2 chip while the other chip will be a lower silicon slice catapulted at managing lesser demanding tasks. This means that the M2 chip will be shouldering the major power.
He also reasons that Apple’s augmented reality headset will bring along an assembly which will be exclusive to ‘Luxshare ICT’. It is also a hint that Apple’s headset chassis is a class apart from other VR headsets. Kuo commends micro-OLED displays for the Apple headset, which had been exclusive to rival Sony.
Apple’s new headset details could also include advanced tracking inside and outside the headset with a guesstimated 12 cameras, in contrast to Sony PSVR’s 4 cameras. With an external power supply from Goretek, all the major components of Apple’s VR/AR headset are touted as the ‘most expensive material costs’.
If Apple’s headset release rumors are to be true, the VR/AR headset will be a testbed for developers to fiddle with the real potential of what can be pushed into the paradigm of mixed reality.
“The headset can become the most worthy investment trend in the consumer electronics market if Apple’s VR headset impressions are better than expected at the release.”
The Apple Glasses could also be an addition to the tech giant’s lineup of VR/AR products, should it find a strong footing in the industry. But not before an affordable range of the Apple headset.
Apple’s unveiling of the VR/AR headset at WWDC 2023 could not just be an exciting event but also set an example for what’s leading the frontier of virtual and augmented reality, both hardware and software side.