Apple’s much-anticipated AR/VR headset is expected to launch in 2023, with rumors about the device gaining momentum. According to recent reports from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the mixed reality headset will feature an “iOS-like” interface, with many of the functions available on the iPhone and iPad, as well as the ability to serve as an external display for a connected Mac. The interface is said to be closely resembling that of an iPhone or iPad, with a home screen displaying app icons that can be rearranged and customizable widgets.
One of the major selling points of the headset is its eye and hand-tracking capabilities, which will be achieved through the use of external cameras that can analyze a user’s hands and eyes. The headset will not rely on a physical controller, allowing users to control the device through gestures and on-screen selections. It is expected to be named “Reality Pro,” and will feature the ability to switch between augmented reality and virtual reality.
Video conferencing will also be a focus for the device, with the addition of FaceTime-based video chatting and meeting room capabilities. Users will be able to interact with one another in a virtual environment, with realistic avatars available for one-to-one chats. Apple is also working on VR content with media partners like Disney and Dolby, as well as updating Apple TV+ shows and movies to work with the headset.
The headset will also feature a dedicated App Store for third-party content, with apps such as Safari, Photos, Mail, Messages, Apple TV+, Apple Music, Podcasts, and Calendar. Siri will be able to be used for text input, as will an ′iPhone, ′iPad, or Mac keyboard. An air typing feature is also in development, but it is not expected to be ready for launch.
For those who wear glasses, custom lenses will be provided to fit within the enclosure, and users are expected to wear AirPods for optimal audio experience. Additionally, the headset will have an external battery pack to prevent overheating, with a battery life of approximately two hours. Other features rumored for the headset include 4K microOLED displays, more than a dozen cameras, iris tracking, facial expression detection, and more. The headset is expected to be priced at around $3,000, with dedicated demonstration and testing areas to be available in Apple Store locations after launch.