Apple is ready to enter the virtual/augmented reality market with a high-end mixed-reality headset scheduled to be made public during the spring of 2023. Reports suggest that the development of the project has been ongoing for the past seven years, with various delays preventing it from the intended 2019 launch.
The ‘Reality Pro’, as it is likely to be called, would run on a new operating system, dubbed xrOS, that the tech giant has been developing for some time now. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is planning to make the project public ahead of its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which usually takes place in June.
The report follows comments made by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo last week, where he claimed that software development and mechanical component issues were the core reasons that forced Apple to delay product shipment for the latter half of 2023. Despite the “Pro” appendage that Apple uses across its higher-end, user-focused product lines, the project has been mentioned as “Borealis” by those involved internally.
With Apple‘s mixed reality headset reportedly including a 3D video service and its own interpretation of the metaverse, it will fall in direct competition with Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta. And with some third-party developers already developing apps for the device, it seems the race is on.
This isn’t Apple’s first venture into mixed, virtual, and augmented reality efforts on iOS and iPadOS, with its iPhone and iPad operating systems. Apple’s operative software gives companies and developers the opportunity to do anything from trying on glasses to modeling furniture purchases planned for their personal accommodation.
The report also suggests that Apple has planned most of its efforts for this year on the headset. That means that many of the other products in the company’s catalog, like its MacBooks, Watch, TV, and iPads will get relatively little attention this year in the form of minor updates as a result of the shift in priorities.
With a reported price tag exceeding $2000 and getting closer to $3000 mostly due to their Mac-level M2 chip integration, we certainly hope they have their priorities straight. This would dwarf the cost of Meta’s recent Quest Pro mixed-reality headset by two times, which retails for $1,499. Cheaper options like the HTC Vive Focus 3, priced at $1,300, and the consumer-friendly Quest 2 VR headset retailing for $399 are also blown out of the water.
The report claims that over 10 cameras will ensure the highest resolution VR display yet produced. This is a trademark policy for Apple, considering they never rush to invent new technology but rather focus on creating the best product after the market and landscape have been established.