What is this Apple headset?
The Apple Mixed Reality Headset is Apple’s version of the virtual/augmented reality headset. Apple’s version will offer many of the same features as the headphones on the market now, but will likely house more advanced technology.
VR headsets are pretty much the latest in consumer tech right now and Meta, Google, and other big tech companies have been eyeing the space for years, so it’s not a huge surprise that Apple wants in on it, too. Apple has a tendency to wait and see when it comes to new products rather than being first to market. But the big question is whether the market (and consumer interest) for VR and AR headsets has reached the point where Apple needs to get involved.
Headphones have been rumored for years, but there’s very little hard evidence that they exist, aside from a few comments from top Apple execs and a constant stream of rumours. The existence of the headphones has certainly not been confirmed by Apple. However, analysts and fans have been keeping an eye on Apple’s activities and have been able to unearth clues about the earbuds’ specifications. Here is everything we know.
What will Apple headphones be called?
The filed patents give us a clue as to the name of Apple’s headphones, which will likely include the word “Reality.” In August, Bloomberg reported that a shell company, linked to law firms previously used by Apple, filed trademark applications in multiple countries for the names “Reality One,” “Reality Pro,” and “Reality Processor.”
A couple of months before that, another fictional company filed two patents for “RealityOS,” which could refer to the software the headset would use. It’s not unusual for a big tech company like Apple to use a shell company for secrecy. Before the macOS names Yosemite and Monterey were announced, Apple had used the shell company “Yosemite Research LLC” to trademark the names.
How much is the headset expected to cost?
According to Bloomberg, we can expect the headset to cost between $2,000 and $3,000 due to the M2 chip it will use, the large number of cameras, and high-resolution displays. This puts Apple earphones at a higher price point than competitors on the market. Meta’s Quest Pro headset retails for $1,500 and the HTC Vive Focus 3 is $1,300.
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When did rumors of Apple’s headphone concept start circulating?
Rumors of a top-secret Apple VR/AR headset began in 2017 when Bloomberg reported “rOS,” which is an operating system that was supposedly being created to run the VR product. At the time, Bloomberg predicted that the product would be ready to ship from 2020, but today, six years after the rumor started, we know how that assumption turned out.
When is the expected release date?
According to the latest projections, we shouldn’t expect much longer, despite constant delays. Initially, the product was expected to launch in 2019, but it was later pushed back to 2020, 2021, 2022, and now 2023.
The general expectation was that Apple would launch the product in January 2023, with shipments to follow later in the year. However, that plan has also gone off course.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes the tech giant will now announce the headset this spring ahead of the annual WWDC in June. Apple frequently uses WWDC to announce products. At WWDC 2022, Apple announced new software updates for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch, as well as the latest version of its unique silicon chip.
Apple-focused analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s predictions also line up with Gurman’s. In December, Kuo said that we could expect the release to happen in the second half of 2023 due to software-related issues.
“My latest survey indicates that Apple’s MR earbuds’ mass shipping schedule may be delayed to 2H23 due to software-related issues (compared to the previous estimate of 2Q23),” Kuo said in a statement. cheep.
Apple has yet to confirm the existence of the headphones or when we can expect a release.
Are there prototypes?
Gurman reports that Apple has already shared the product with a small number of high-profile software developers for testing, suggesting that a near-finished product, or at least a prototype, already exists. The internal codename for Apple’s first headphones is N301, according to Bloomberg. A later model, the N602, and a lightweight set of augmented reality glasses, codenamed N421, are expected to launch towards the end of the decade.
Aren’t there already headphones you can use with Apple products?
If you really want to explore AR/VR, there are already devices on the market that would allow you to do so. Meta’s Quest 2 is on the lower side of headset prices without compromising on value. ZDNET ranked it as the best VR headset overall due to its easy setup, comfortable controls, excellent tracking, and high-resolution screen.
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If you’re a proud participant in the Apple ecosystem, a more affordable option is the HoloKit X. This headset takes advantage of Apple technology to create an AR experience. The iPhone serves as the eyes of the headset and all you have to do is pair it with an app to get it working. The headset also has an Apple Watch integration, which enables motion tracking on your wrist, allowing you to play games that require manual movement. To see ZDNET editor Kerry Wan wear the headset and cast spells in her AR experience, click here.
Who is the target audience for headphones?
Apple’s headset is projected to be a top-of-the-line headset packed with accessories that will be ideal for professionals or people really invested in AR/VR. If you’re only interested in exploring and playing with AR/VR, then a more affordable existing headset might be a better option for you.
How would Apple’s launch impact the industry?
With talk of a potential metaverse on the horizon, more companies have been developing AR/VR headsets, and interest in the space continues to grow. In typical Apple fashion, the tech giant has waited until other companies have tried their luck and public interest has built up before entering the scene.
The first modern AR/VR headset, the Oculus Rift, launched in March 2016. Since then, Meta, which acquired Oculus in 2014, has continued to develop and release VR/AR suites, culminating in its latest 2022 headset, known as Meta Quest Pro. During those six years that Meta continued to grow in the space, Apple waited.
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“After Apple launches the AR/MR headset, I believe Apple’s global rivals will compete to follow suit, leading the headset hardware industry to the next stage of rapid growth and benefiting related services and the headset ecosystem. content,” Kuo wrote.
In the past, when Apple finally decided to enter a space, it revolutionized and dominated it, creating new interest and raising product standards. It’s fair to assume that Apple will have the same effect in the AR/VR space when the headset drops.
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