Based on patent filings, Apple has been looking into virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for almost 20 years. With the release of ARKit, virtual and augmented reality are becoming more popular, so Apple is likely to release an AR/VR product sometime in 2023.
Apple has a research unit where hundreds of people work on augmented reality and virtual reality and look for ways to use these new technologies in future Apple products. Over the last few years, the number of jobs in AR/VR has grown, and Apple has bought a number of AR/VR companies to help it with its work in this area.
Apple is working on at least two AR projects, including an AR headset that will come out in 2023 and a pair of AR glasses that will be more stylish and come out later. There was some confusion about what was coming when because of the two projects, but now it’s clear that first there will be an AR/VR (or mixed reality) headset, and then augmented reality glasses.
Earlier rumors said that Apple’s AR/VR headset would come out in 2022, maybe at WWDC in June. However, Apple is still having trouble with its development. At this point, it looks like the AR/VR headset won’t come out until 2023. Reliable sources like Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman say that the headset will likely come out in 2023 and the glasses will come out in 2024 or 2025.
Apple is working on an AR/VR headset that will be a separate device with powerful A-series processors that will be on par with the performance of Apple’s Macs. It will have two chips inside that will let it handle complex tasks and virtual reality features. It will also be able to work without an iPhone or Mac.
The headset will look like other headsets on the market, like the Facebook Oculus Quest, but it will be slimmer and lighter to make sure it is comfortable. Two high-resolution micro OLED displays with up to 3,000 pixels per inch will create an immersive viewing experience. There may also be a third display on the side for better peripheral vision.
Apple is building more than a dozen cameras into the headset to track hand movements and gestures. This will be one way to control the headset, along with eye tracking. Apple could also make input devices that you wear on your body. One of these could look like a thimble that you wear on your finger.
Multiple 3D-sensing modules will be built in to detect hand gestures and objects around the wearer. Voice control, skin detection, spatial detection, and expression detection will also be built in. The headset will use spatial audio to give you an immersive audio experience as well as an immersive video experience.
Apple is making an App Store for the headset. Most of the content will be games, video streaming, and video conferencing. “rOS,” a new operating system made just for the headset, will run on it.
Since the AR/VR headset is a completely new type of product that uses cutting-edge technology, it won’t be cheap. There have been rumors that it could cost more than $2,000.
The headset will be mostly about VR, with some limited AR features. However, Apple has bigger plans for AR. Apple is expected to release augmented reality glasses that look like regular glasses but have AR capabilities after the AR/VR headset.
In May, Apple showed its AR/VR headset to its board of directors. This shows that the device is far along in its development, which means it is getting closer to being released. We still think it will come out in 2023.
Apple’s first headset will have both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) features. This type of technology is often called “mixed reality.” Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are both types of technology, but they can be used for very different things.
Virtual reality is a full immersion in a virtual world, while augmented reality is a view of the real world that has been changed. With VR, the real world is mostly blocked out so you can focus on the virtual world, but with augmented reality, virtual elements are added to your view of the real world.
Google Glass, which is no longer made, is an example of a head-worn augmented reality device. The Oculus and PlayStation VR are examples of head-worn virtual reality devices. Apple is working on both of these technologies, but the first product will be more like Oculus than Google Glass.
Virtual reality is all about consuming immersive content because it makes the person wearing it feel like they are actually in the simulated world by giving them visual, tactile, and auditory feedback. Right now, virtual reality is mostly used for games, but it could also be used to teach or train by making people feel like they are in the real world.
Augmented reality doesn’t depend on immersive content, and because it adds to reality instead of replacing it, it’s less exciting. However, it has a wider range of possible uses, and Apple seems to be most interested in it. Apple’s headset will have both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) capabilities. This is called “mixed reality,” and we’ve seen it in products like Microsoft’s HoloLens.
Mixed reality combines content from the real world with content from the virtual world to create new environments where both real and digital objects can be seen and interacted with at the same time. We don’t yet know exactly what Apple’s headset will be like to use in real life, but we can expect immersive games, more interactive FaceTime and chat, and new learning tools.
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