The Apple VR headset could be released at the end of 2022 or 2023. It would combine VR and AR technologies, with a lighter design than its direct competitor Oculus Quest 2.
This year, as the battle to conquer the Metaverse heats up, it looks like the plans for an Apple VR headset are finally coming to fruition. According to renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the firm from Cupertino has made good progress in its project, with almost no official communication. The Whale Journal has therefore gathered all the information available on the progress of Apple’s plans to compete with Meta (Facebook) and its Oculus virtual reality headset. This headset would be the brand’s first new product launch since the Apple Watch in 2015.
Note that this mixed reality headset (VR/AR) is different from augmented reality glasses (pure AR, without VR), also developed by Apple.
Apple VR Headset Release Date
Originally slated for 2022, Apple’s VR/AR headset release date could be pushed back to 2023. According to Bloomberg, the official announcement should have taken place at WWDC in June 2022, but “development challenges related to overheating, cameras and software” made it more difficult to respect the initial date, according to the financial news website.
Kuo reports, moreover, that there is strong competition on the price of the components used for this VR device. He also notes that the cost of the lenses should be fixed from the second quarter of 2022.
How much will Apple’s VR headset cost?
Apple’s VR headset is likely to be significantly more expensive than other VR headsets currently available on the market. For example, the HTC Vive Cosmos, Oculus Quest 2 and PlayStation VR are in the price range of $300-500.
But the main observers believe that the price of this Apple headset would be closer to that of the Microsoft HoloLens 2, i.e. beyond $3.500. If this information were true, it would mean that the device would be aimed more at a professional audience, like the Microsoft product. Given Apple’s DNA, however, it remains likely that the firm is positioning itself on high-end VR headset but nevertheless intended for individual consumers.
What will be the design of Apple’s VR headset?
True to its reputation, the design of the Apple VR headset would be sleek and, above all, much lighter than the competition. Kuo thus evokes a weight of 150 grams, which would give a nice advantage over the Oculus Quest 2 whose weight is still an annoyance for users (pending the release of Meta Quest 3).
Innovation and Performance
According to reports, it would be equipped with an Apple-designed chip (like the MacBoooks and their M1 chip) and would include a high-resolution screen and sensors that would make it easier to read small print. Users will also be able to see who is standing in front or behind virtual objects. It’s expected to sport Apple’s M1 chip and run on iOS.
It will certainly be able to map surfaces and environments with distortion-free precision, including 1:1 tracking. As for the integrated sensors, their role will be to accompany the movements of the hand and, why not, to project a virtual keyboard on certain surfaces.
Another advantage is that Apple’s VR headset even offers very precise eye tracking. This technological evolution would allow new interactions directly via eye movement. A wink could be used to validate certain actions, for example.
Micro OLED Display
As for the display, Korea’s ET News confirmed in February earlier news stating that Apple has teamed up with TSMC to develop micro OLED displays for the devices.
If Apple could directly step in the market dominated by the Oculus Quest VR Headset from Facebook (Meta), we think the competition would bring many benefits to the development of the sector. But right now, it’s unsure what target the firm from Cupertino will address.
What we do expect for certain is improvements on the ease of use and comfort. It’s possible that the Apple VR headset won’t need a backpack to carry it around, unlike its competitors. We are also intrigued in how Apple’s seemingly wants to mix VR and AR. This mix-reality could become a new feature and area for future development.
The Whale Journal updates this article regularly, when new information is available.