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Apple VR/AR headset just tipped for January 2023 launch — and it's a 'game-changer'

apple mixed reality headset render
(Image credit: Ian Zelbo)

It could be only six months or so until the Apple VR/AR headset is revealed to the world, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab).

In a Medium post (opens in new tab), Kuo explores several aspects of the VR headset market notably describing Apple as "a game-changer for the headset industry," and predicts Cupertino's first headset will arrive in January 2023.

As a result of the launch, Kuo says the Apple headset will lead a new wave of products trying to emulate its ideas, and boost in demand for associated AR games and apps.

Kuo is particularly interested in the alleged "video see-thru" feature that the Apple headset will offer. Rather than enclosing you in virtual reality, the headset will apparently allow the user to see the outside world through their display and maybe even present the wearer's eyes on an exterior display. Together, these sound like the ideal way to make VR less isolating and more practical as a collaborative work tool.

Other rumored features for the Apple headset include dual 4K OLED displays, 15 cameras inside and out, and two chipsets, with one based on the Apple M1 chip, providing the brains. The price tag is estimated to be as much as $3,000, an eye-watering price that makes some sense because this is claimed to be Apple's premium, pro-level AR device. 

Meanwhile, the Apple Glass, a lightweight AR headset that's also rumored to be under development, will supposedly come later to bring the Apple AR experience to more people.

While it missed WWDC 2022, the development of the Apple AR/VR headset is still thought to be well underway. With Kuo's prediction in mind, perhaps we'll see the headset debut at Apple's habitual spring product launch. Equally, with this being a whole new sector for Apple to enter, perhaps it'll organize a dedicated AR/VR event to show off the headset and associated hardware and software. We'll be keeping an eye on the rumors to see what's in store.

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.