Apple hasn’t come out with a new product category since the 2018 launch of the HomePod, and there hasn’t been a new wearable since the 2015 debut of the Apple Watch. That’s set to change in the not too distant future, as Apple’s AR/VR headset is near completion and will likely see a launch in 2023.
Rumors about the first head worn Apple-branded AR/VR product have been tricking out for years now, so we thought it would be useful to provide a quick overview of what’s coming, including the most recent realityOS information.
- Overall Design – Apple’s headset won’t look too different from the Oculus Quest virtual reality headset, featuring a curved visor that slides over the eyes and a comfortable mesh base that rests against the face. The visor will completely cover the eyes, blocking out peripheral vision to prevent light leaks.
- Headband – The headset will be held in place by a swappable, adjustable headband that could be made from a material similar to an Apple Watch Sport band.
- Weight – Apple wants the final version of the headset to weigh between 100 to 200 grams. That would be far lighter and more comfortable than something like the Oculus Quest 2, which weighs 503 grams. Prototypes weigh around 300 grams, so Apple may not be able to get the headset’s weight quite as low as its target.
- Spatial Audio – One of the headbands that Apple is testing features spatial audio technology for a surround sound experience.
- Display – Apple’s AR/VR headset is expected to adopt two high-resolution 4K micro OLED displays supplied by Sony for a high-quality viewing experience that offers up to 3,000 pixels per inch.
- Cameras – The headset will be equipped with more than a dozen optical cameras for tracking hand movements, eye tracking mapping the environment, projecting visual experiences, and more.
- Control Methods – Apple may support multiple input methods, including hand gestures, eye tracking and iris recognition, and a finger-worn control device. It will also detect skin and could monitor expression.
- Chips – Two Mac-level Apple silicon chips are expected to be used in the AR/VR headset to provide the computing power that Apple wants. The headset is expected to be a standalone device that is not reliant on the iPhone or Mac for processing power.
- realityOS – Apple is designing a new operating system for the headset, and it’s expected to be called “realityOS.” Just this week, references to realityOS were found in Apple’s source code.
- App Store – Along with a new OS, the AR/VR headset will have a dedicated App Store. Apple will focus on gaming, streaming video content, and video conferencing.
- Media Content – Apple could be planning to work with media parters to create content that could be watched in VR.
- VR FaceTime – Apple is rumored to be working on a VR FaceTime-like experience with Animojis and other 3D features.
Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman has speculated that the headset will sell for over $2,000, and The Information believes it could cost somewhere around $3,000.
Apple has pushed back the planned release timeline of the AR/VR headset several times as it continues to work out development issues. There were multiple rumors suggesting that we’d see the headset debut at the 2022 WWDC event, but Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman recently said that Apple may further delay the headset until 2023.
At this point, it’s looking like we’ll have to wait for 2023 to see the headset launch, though there is still a small possibility that it will see a 2022 announcement to give developers time to prepare apps for the device. Apple is said to be targeting the 2023 Worldwide Developer’s Conference for a launch.
As for the development issues, Apple is having trouble with heat dissipation due to the high-powered processor, and there are still problems with the camera and the software to work out.
For all of the rumors on Apple’s AR/VR headset, we have a dedicated rumor roundup that aggregates all of the information that we know so far.
Artistic Renders Offer Best Look Yet at Apple’s Upcoming AR/VR Headset
As 2022 is shaping up to finally be the year Apple announces its long-awaited and rumored AR/VR headset, a new set of artistic renders have offered us our best look yet at what Apple’s first headset will look like, based on credible reports citing sources from within the company. The renders, created by concept maker Ian Zelbo, are based on details provided in a report from The Information…
Apple’s ‘realityOS’ for Rumored AR/VR Headset Referenced in Source Code
New references to “realityOS,” the AR/VR operating system that will run Apple’s rumored mixed reality headset, have been found in the App Store upload logs and Apple open source code this morning. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo Apple is working on at least two AR projects that include an augmented reality headset set to be released in late 2022 or 2023, followed …
Apple AR/VR Headset Potentially Delayed Until 2023 Amid Development Problems
Apple’s long-rumored AR/VR headset could be delayed until 2023 after being beset with issues during the development process, according to Bloomberg. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo Citing people familiar with Apple’s plans, the report claims that Apple originally planned to launch the headset in 2021 and ship it this year. The company then set its sights on…
Kuo: Mass Production on Apple’s AR/VR Headset May Be Delayed Until End of 2022
Apple may not begin production on its upcoming AR/VR headset until the end of the fourth quarter of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note sent out to investors. That would likely result in the device launching late in 2022 or in early 2023. Before launching the headset, Apple wants to have “complete software, ecosystem, and services,” which Kuo cites as the reason why Apple …
Apple’s Upcoming AR/VR Headset to Feature Three Displays
Apple’s mixed reality headset that’s set to launch in 2022 will be equipped with three displays, according to a research report shared today by display analyst Ross Young. The display configuration will include two micro OLED displays along with one AMOLED panel, with Sony set to supply the micro OLED displays that Apple will use. The micro OLED displays will be the main displays for the…
Apple’s Upcoming AR/VR Headset to Require Connection to iPhone
The first AR/VR headset that Apple has in development will need to be wirelessly tethered to an iPhone or another Apple device to unlock full functionality, reports The Information. It will be similar to the WiFi-only version of the Apple Watch, which requires an iPhone connection to work. The headset is meant to wirelessly communicate with another Apple device, which will handle most of the …
Google Begins AR Headset Development to Compete With Apple and Meta
Google has internally kickstarted the development of an augmented reality headset that will “blend computer graphics with a video feed of the real world” to deliver an immersive AR experience, with a launch tentatively set for 2024, according to a report from The Verge. The report describes the headset, codenamed Project Iris, as a “tightly kept secret” at Google with around 300 employees…
First Apple Mixed Reality Headset Rumored to Focus on Gaming, Media, and Communication
Apple’s rumored augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset will focus on gaming, media consumption, and communication, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Concept render of Apple’s rumored AR headset by Antonio De Rosa Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple’s plans, outlined the broad use-cases that users can expect from the company’s mixed reality headset in…
Everything New in iOS 15.4 Beta 2: Face ID Updates, Tap to Pay Code and More
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 to developers for testing purposes, and while there aren’t as many new features as we got in the first betas, there are some notable additions and changes worth highlighting. Tap to Pay on iPhone With the second beta of iOS 15.4, Apple introduced support for the “Tap to Pay on iPhone” feature that is designed to allow…
Safari Team Asks for Feedback Amid Accusations That ‘Safari Is the Worst, It’s the New IE’
Apple’s Safari and WebKit team has asked for feedback on Twitter amid criticisms of the browser’s bugs and missing support. Jen Simmons, an Apple Evangelist and developer advocate on the Web Developer Experience team for Safari and WebKit, Tweeted that “Everyone in my mentions [is] Saying Safari is the worst, it’s the new IE.” This led her to ask users for feedback, preferably highlighting…
Apple Releases iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1 With Security Updates and Bug Fixes
Apple today released iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1, two minor updates to the iOS and iPadOS operating systems released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3.1 come two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.3. The iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new…
Apple Hit With Class Action Lawsuit Over ‘Jelly Scrolling’ on iPad Mini
Colorado resident Christopher Bryan on Wednesday filed a class action lawsuit against Apple that accused the company of fraudulently marketing and selling the sixth-generation iPad mini despite being aware of a so-called “jelly scrolling” defect with the device, according to court documents reviewed. by MacRumors. A few days after the sixth-generation iPad mini was released in September, some …
Tesla Design Chief on Apple Products: ‘There’s Nothing to Look Forward To’
Tesla design chief Franz von Holzhausen recently commented on Apple’s design principles and product launches, lamenting that Apple doesn’t deliver something “to look forward to.” During a podcast interview with Spike Feresten of Spike’s Car Radio (via iPhone in Canada and Sawyer Merritt), Holzhausen said that Apple’s devices are “just a continuation” and a “slight refinement on the same…
CalDigit’s New Thunderbolt 4 Dock for MacBook Pro Features 18 Ports
CalDigit today introduced its new Thunderbolt Station 4 dock with 18 ports, which it claims is the most on any Thunderbolt dock ever. The dock features three Thunderbolt 4 ports, with one of them providing up to 98W of pass-through charging to compatible Macs, including the latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. The dock is also equipped with three USB-C ports (3.2 Gen 2), five USB-A ports…
Apple Announces AirTag Updates to Address Unwanted Tracking
Apple today announced that it is making some updates to AirTags with the aim of cutting down on unwanted tracking. There are several changes that will be implemented in a multi-phase rollout. In an upcoming software update, Apple plans to implement new privacy warnings that will show up during AirTag setup to thwart malicious use. The warning will make it clear that the AirTag is linked to…