Apple WWDC 2023

As we are getting closer to the launch of the much-anticipated AR/VR “mixed” reality headset from Apple, more details about the wearable device are getting leaked online.

Today, Bloomberg revealed Apple’s upcoming headset will feature a new proprietary charging connector to connect to the external battery. Unlike the existing AR/MR headsets that are available in the market, the battery pack of Apple’s headset will rest in a user’s pocket and connects via cable. Apple made this design decision to reduce weight and improve comfort.

Here’s how the external battery pack will work:

  1. The Apple AR/MR headset will have two ports: a USB-C connector to handle data and a new proprietary charger.
  2. The charging cable that connects with the headset has a round tip that inserts magnetically. To prevent the connector from falling out during use, users should rotate it clockwise to lock it in.
  3. The charging cable cannot be seperated from the battery pack.
  4. The battery pack is expected to deliver two hours of battery life and it will look like Apple’s iPhone MagSafe battery pack.
  5. The battery pack can be charged via USB-C.
  6. Apple may offer the ability to buy extra packs due to poor battery life of two hours.

The mixed reality headset, which combines elements of both augmented and virtual reality, was recently presented to Apple’s top 100 executives at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.

Due to its $3000 price tag, Apple is not expecting the mixed reality headset to be an instant hit, but Apple is counting on its ability to iterate and improve the device over time, much like it did with the Watch. The company is already planning more affordable versions and better-performing successors, which should launch within two years of the initial headset’s release. Apple believes that it can sell approximately one million units of the headset within its first year, which, despite being a modest number compared to its other products, would position the company as a market leader in mixed reality.

The potential applications for the mixed reality headset are vast, from video conferencing and virtual collaboration to entertainment and artistic expression. Apple’s focus on “copresence” – sharing a real or virtual space with others – aligns with the growing interest in the “metaverse,” a concept that has captured the imagination of tech giants like Facebook’s parent company, Meta.

To encourage user adoption, Apple is reportedly working on dedicated sports, gaming, wellness, and collaboration apps. Apple plans to adapt iPad apps for the headset, allowing users to access existing App Store content through the device’s 3D interface. Core Apple-designed apps, such as Safari, Calendar, Contacts, and others, will also be optimized for the headset.

The device is expected to support running multiple apps simultaneously and include a geolocation feature to swap between apps when users are in different rooms. A Fitness+ app will offer immersive exercise experiences, and the Health app will guide users through meditation using graphics, sounds, and voice-overs. Apple is pushing deeper into sports, focusing on providing immersive viewing experiences for Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Soccer (MLS) content.

The mixed reality headset will feature a dedicated FaceTime experience using Memoji-like avatars and virtual meeting rooms. Additionally, Apple is developing a Books app for reading in VR, a Camera app to capture images using the headset’s cameras, and a 3D interface adaptation of Freeform for collaborative projects.