Apple VR Headset in the Works, AR Glasses Coming Later
Apple is working on a premium virtual reality (VR) headset that will be similar in size to the Oculus Quest. This emerges from a report by Bloomberg which named “those who are aware of the matter”. The device could hit the market at an expensive price as early as 2022.
It has long been rumored that Apple is working on an augmented reality (AR) headset, and CEO Tim Cook previously stated that his preference is for augmented reality rather than virtual reality as it “gives us both the opportunity to sit and be very gift. “VR, on the other hand, can isolate people from one another.
However, those concerns seem to have subsided as the company devoted resources to a VR headset and spent a lot of time and money overcoming the design hurdles it faced along the way. For example, some prototypes were too bulky and heavy, which the company is trying to combat with fabric in headset design.
According to the report, the headset will use some of Apple’s “most advanced and powerful” processors, some of which are said to be beating Apple’s Mac-based M1 chip. It is also claimed that it could have a fan, which would be an unusual move if it actually used Apple’s incredibly efficient chips – the Apple M1 in the MacBook Air, for example, is so efficient that it doesn’t need a fan.
What seems more likely is that the headset with a fan is a prototype test and that if the end product actually comes with ARM-based Apple chips, the active cooling system will be omitted. Another reason to doubt the inclusion of a fan is that the headset will be battery powered, which may be burdened by a fan (Apple’s processors, however, are incredibly power efficient and probably less of a concern).
When VR meets AR
Some prototypes of the VR headset reportedly include external cameras for use in AR settings, e.g. For tracking hand movements that could be used with applications or a virtual keyboard. Apps for the platform are based on an operating system called rOS, which has its own app store.
With its top-end features like a powerful processor and high-resolution displays, the VR headset is likely to be niche and expensive, with Apple apparently not expecting to sell more than 200,000 units a year. This follows the trend of Apple introducing premium devices in new categories for the business – like the original HomePod and AirPods Max – before later introducing cheaper versions.
In that case, the ultimate goal could be to bring an AR headset or glasses to market in the next few years, with the VR headset supposed to pique the interest of Apple users on the subject. An AR headset makes sense given Apple’s spatial audio expertise, which is aptly demonstrated in its AirPods Pro headphones, and its existing AR knowledge in software and hardware (like the iPhone 12 Pro’s lidar scanner). Watch this room.