Earlier reports that Apple’s VR/AR headset will launch this spring were apparently overly optimistic — the latest leak points to a debut at the company’s annual developers conference in June.
If so, it’s likely to overshadow the new iOS and macOS versions also coming at WWDC23. But that probably would have happened even if the device had been unveiled months earlier, as it’ll include a new operating system for third-party developers to write applications for.
Expect the Apple AR/VR headset at WWDC23
The fact that Apple is working on a headset with both virtual reality and augmented reality capabilities is an open secret. Even CEO Tim Cook couldn’t resist dropping a hint about it in 2022.
But the launch date is unknown… possibly because it keeps getting bumped back. It was once thought to be coming in 2022, then in January 2023, then a bit later in spring.
Then, on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported, “Apple Inc. has postponed a planned introduction of its first mixed-reality headset from around April to June.”
That will allow the company to introduce the product — supposedly called Reality Pro — at the Worldwide Developers Conference. But that supposedly wasn’t the sole reason. “Apple made the decision to delay the launch earlier this month after product testing showed that both hardware and software issues still needed to be ironed out,” said Bloomberg.
The device was almost certainly going to be a big part of WWDC23 anyway. It’ll be the debut of xrOS and devs will need help getting started making apps for this new operating system.
What we already know about Apple Reality Pro
Apple has kept a fairly tight rein on the exact design. No renders of the device have leaked yet, just vague hints. Still, enough other details have surfaced that potential buyers should expect the product to be packed with cutting-edge features… with a price to match.
Tipsters say it will sport three high-res displays, one of which will be external. It’ll be powered by a chip on par with the Apple M2 for cutting-edge performance. Many types of sensors will detect the wearer’s surroundings and their hands, and even scan their face.
Put on a Reality Pro VR headset from Apple, and you can expect to see the familiar iPhone user interface rendered in 3D. Users can attend a virtual meeting with another user, with each person realistically rendered. Or play VR games, watch a movie in a virtual theater or even just check their calendar or access websites.
All that’s undoubtedly impressive, the price could be as high as $3,000 for what will essentially be a public prototype test.