Apple is difficult at work on its first VR headset, but consistent with reports this first product offering is going to be intentionally high-end and niche to pave the way for a more consumer-friendly AR headset down the road.
In a report by Bloomberg, sources on the brink of the matter say that Apple’s first VR headset meant for activities like gaming, videos, and communicating is going to be available as early as 2022. And it won’t be cheap.
This first VR headset will likely be costlier than rival VR headsets and should only sell “one headset per day per mercantile establishment .” This strategy is seemingly intentional as Apple continues to figure on a more consumer-facing AR glasses-type product.
As for the VR headset itself, this product is reportedly set to incorporate Apple’s most advanced chip and can feature higher resolution than headsets from Oculus or HTC. the facility of this headset also requires a built-in fan, a design choice Apple typically tries to avoid.
According to sources, versions of the Apple’s VR headset with its processor and fan led to a tool that was too heavy and enormous raising concerns over “neck strain.” Current designs have shrunk the dimensions and utilize a cloth exterior to scale back the general weight. it’ll even be a standalone device just like the Oculus Quest.
Apple has streamlined its headset to be much closer to the face, which shrinks the dimensions of the device but removes the space needed for users who wear glasses with VR headsets.
One solution Apple is claimed to be performing on is developing a system where owners can insert custom prescription lenses into the VR headset.
However, prescription lenses will open Apple up to additional government regulations.
The VR headset will feature many of the equivalent features as competitor hardware, but also some AR features also. the event of AR glasses is early but is reportedly Apple’s main goal because the company sees AR as a more mainstream product versus VR.
However, releasing a VR headset early will prime customers for what to expect when Apple eventually releases an AR headset, with a planned announcement reportedly targeting 2023.
Apple is also working towards making current Apple devices compatible with the new headset and glasses, with an overall headcount of 1,000 engineers working on the various VR and AR projects, Bloomberg reports. Those engineers are being led by Apple Vice President Mike Rockwell. The engineers are achieving backward compatibility via a new operating system dubbed “rOS” internally.
The team reportedly features executives who’ve previously worked on Apple’s gaming software system, former game developers, and ex-NASA engineers to boot.
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