Apple’s long-anticipated foray into the VR/AR hardware world is rumored to be a reality soon.
Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman reported that Apple is speeding its foray into the world of mixed reality by accelerating the release of a mixed reality headset called Apple Reality Pro in the middle of this year.
The desire to release a mixed reality headset this year cannot be separated from the role of Apple COO Jeff Williams and CEO Tim Cook. Both think that now is the right time for Apple to enter the competition for augmented reality or virtual reality devices, and later they will make improvements over time.
Apple’s rush to release its mixed reality headset, Reality Pro, is certainly at odds with Apple’s principle of historically being known for waiting until new technology is introduced before incorporating it into its products. Especially after there were concerns from engineers who wanted to find more time to perfect the device, the following review will explain the Apple Reality Pro mixed reality headset in detail.
1. What is Apple Reality Pro?
The Apple Reality Pro is Apple’s first mixed reality device in the form of an advanced headset – said to resemble a pair of ski goggles. While giving his predictions regarding Apple’s AR/VR headset series, Gurman explained that there are at least 3 Apple mixed reality headsets in active development, and each has the code names “N301”, “N602”, and “N421”.
The headset with the code “N301” is predicted to carry the name “Apple Pro Reality.”
Meanwhile, the headset with the code N602 will reportedly be the successor to the first Apple Reality Pro headset and could come at a lower price. For the N421 model, Gurman said that this AR/VR headset is a pair of glasses for AR devices that have been leaked before. Unfortunately, the N421 model is unlikely to launch any time soon.
2. What will be the price?
Apple’s first mixed reality headset is predicted to cost around USD 3,000 as it is considered the most complex Apple product.
Meanwhile, Apple’s second-generation mixed reality headset, called Reality One, will later be priced at a lower price, which is around USD 799.
3. Does Apple work on AR glasses?
It has been known for a long time that Apple is working on two devices, The Reality Pro, a virtual reality headset, and the Apple Glasses, an augmented reality device that seems less prominent at first glance as it only resembles a regular-looking pair of glasses.
At first, the launch of Apple Glasses was scheduled for this year, but then the company decided to move it to 2025 and then postponed it indefinitely. Rumors claim that Apple decided to postpone the Apple Glasses project indefinitely due to technical difficulties as they haven’t succeeded in adapting all the augmented reality helmet technology to the traditional shape of glasses.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously said that the specifications for the AR/VR headset that will be carried include two 4K micro-OLED screens, 15 optical modules, two chipsets, and up to Wi-Fi 6E connectivity.
Kuo said Apple’s AR/VR headset would feature eye-tracking, object-tracking, and hand-gesture control. Several of these features confirm the existence of “air typing,” which allows users to type in the air without needing an Apple device connected (such as an iPhone or keyboard).
Meanwhile, the settings will use the Digital Crown (like on the Apple Watch) but in virtual form, combining AR and VR. Reality Pro’s brain is estimated to be the Apple M2 made with 5nm fabrication and has 20 billion transistors.
In Bloomberg’s PowerOn newsletter, Mark Gurman said Apple plans to announce an AR/VR headset in spring 2023 before WWDC 23.
After introducing AR/VR headsets, Apple will ask developers to announce the xrOS operating system at WWDC 23, which will be held in June.
According to estimates, Apple’s AR/VR headset will go on sale in the fall of 2023 or around September to November 2023.