By now, it’s pretty obvious that Apple has closed with new hardware releases for 2022. After quietly launching two new iPads and a new Apple TV, the American tech giant has decided to wrap up the year. Many will be disappointed by the lack of a dedicated November / October event, as is normal, and by the fact that we will not have new MacBooks this fall. However, it appears that Apple is preparing something important, namely its VR / AR headset.
Apple notoriously hates the term “Metaverse,” but that may not stop it from developing its own interactive virtual world for its upcoming mixed reality headsets. Assuming nothing changes at the last minute, there is every reason to believe it Apple’s high-end (and likely very expensive) headphones will arrive in the first half of 2023and that at least one of them could be equipped with the company’s M2 chip.
We’ve been hearing about Apple’s mixed reality headset for years, and the rumors have painted a clearer picture of it. At one time, it was expected that the first headset would be released in 2020, but it never materialized.
Assuming the latest reports are true, Apple’s mixed reality product could go into production in early 2023, meaning we could finally get an announcement at WWDC. However, physical hardware is only part of the equation, as software will play an equally important role.
According to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has hired people to develop the software side of things, and one of those projects could involve the company’s version of the metaverse … but without calling it a metaverse.
It’s hard to say exactly what Apple is planning for its headphones. Last January, Gurman said sources revealed that Apple would not create a metaverse for its mixed reality platform, which appears to be underscored by Apple’s absence from the Metaverse Standards Forum. However, in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman reports that Apple is accelerating its work on the software aspect of its upcoming mixed reality headsets and that this effort involves, among other things, the development of a3D mixed reality world“. It is difficult to interpret this as anything other than a metaverse, a metaverse that will incorporate elements of the real world, in this case.
Apple is betting a lot on it
Citing job advertisements, Gurman also reports that Apple has outlined plans that, among other things, make it clear that things like Shortcuts and Siri, both of which are on the company’s existing devices, will also be part of its mixed reality platform. There is also talk of some kind of video service that would be made available to headset owners, which would act as a portal for unspecified “3D content” revolving around virtual reality.
However, don’t expect to buy an Apple headset on the same budget as a Quest or even a Valve Index. Reports point to a headset that could cost as little as $ 3,000, as it is said to be a high-end product with the best hardware offered to date in a VR / AR product. Gurman refers to earlier rumors that, among other things, the realityOS headset may have more than 10 cameras and be called Reality Pro, while another headset may be called Reality One.