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Apple’s mixed reality headset is expected to launch in the spring, and deliveries will begin by fall 2023. The device will be exclusive, for a limited audience, rather than mainstream.
Tech giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) is in talks with at least six media companies over the development of virtual reality (VR) content for its mixed reality headset. Among the partners are The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) and Sony Corporation (NYSE: SONY).
Apple has been experimenting with virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for a long time. Back in 2020, it acquired a California-based VR company NextVR to create a separate unit to focus on VR and AR products. Earlier, the company was working on developing its own Apple Glasses headsets designed to work like the Google Glass smart glasses that are lightweight and offer digital representation overlaid with the real world. However, Apple recently indefinitely postponed its active work on the product. There are rumors that the company has been experiencing significant technical challenges. One of the possible options for using such glasses could replace a smartphone, and some employees of the company generally doubt that such things can be done.
Instead, Apple tasked its AR team to intensify work on the AR headsets. The mixed reality headset is expected to launch in the spring, and deliveries will begin by fall 2023. Apple does not reveal much information about the upcoming headset. However, there are rumors that its price will be around $3,000. The price shows that the device will be exclusive, for a limited audience, rather than mainstream.
Apparently, Apple AR/VR headset will be a standalone device with powerful chips that will put the performance on par with Apple’s Macs. Equipped with two chips inside, the headset will also be able to perform independently of an iPhone or a Mac.
The headset will have several external cameras that can track hand movements. It can also be done due to special 3D sensors that will read users’ eyes to control gestures. There will also be support for voice control, skin detection, spatial detection, and expression detection. Users will be able to look at an item on the display to select it, using hand gestures to interact with the item.
When it comes to design, the Apple headset is expected to look similar to other headsets on the market. But it will have a lightweight construction, about 300 to 400 grams, to ensure users’ comfort.
Notably, Apple is also designing an App Store for the headset. The content will focus on gaming, streaming video, and video conferencing. The company has even designed a separate “xrOS” system for the headset. A FaceTime experience will use cameras to project a person’s full face and body into a virtual environment for one-on-one calls, and there will also be other apps like Calendar, Mail, Safari, and more. TV+ material will also be updated in order to comply with the headset.