Update: Apple's mixed reality headset could be incredibly light, and get followed by a second-gen headset in 2024.
We've heard quite a lot about the upcoming Apple mixed reality and VR headset, including various rumors on what the headset is designed to be. The latest report claims that it’s actually meant to be an entertainment device.
That’s according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in his weekly ‘Power On’ newsletter (opens in new tab). Apparently, the headset is being built to focus on gaming, media consumption and communication.
Gurman predicts that gaming “should be a strong focus of the machine” considering it will reportedly have its own app store, multiple processors, a fan and an “extremely high resolution display”. According to Gurman, Apple wants to position the headset as “a dream for game developers."
In addition, Gurman says he expects the company to partner with content-creators to produce things that can be watched in VR. As for communication, Gurman expects a VR version of FaceTime to arrive, as well as support for animojis.
Based on rumors we’ve heard about the headset’s hardware, that all makes sense. The headset is supposed to come packing dual 4K micro LED displays, Wi-Fi 6E support, 15 optical modules, eye tracking and loads more packed into a lightweight design.
In the past we've heard rumors that painted a very different picture. In fact, previous reports claimed that Apple never intended its mixed reality headset to be a consumer product. Instead it was supposedly being made to pave the way for the augmented reality Apple Glasses.
The idea was that by having an AR-capable device available, Apple could make sure developers had the opportunity to build augmented reality apps ready for Apple Glasses’ launch. That was reflected by the rumored price tag, which ranged from anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000.
While Gurman’s new report doesn’t disqualify this scenario, focusing on the entertainment aspect suggests the company will be positioning the headset as a consumer device. After all, it's difficult to get developers and content-creators interested in taking part if there’s only a small audience.
However, a lot of what we supposedly know about the headset comes from reports like Gurman's, mixed with some guesswork and wishful thinking. Apple hasn’t revealed anything about its plans for wearable AR and VR tech, other than the fact it’s on the agenda. So, we’re piecing together information from rumors, reports and Apple’s own patents to try and figure out what’s going on.
We’re just going to have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully that won’t be too long, considering the latest rumors suggest the headset may well launch sometime in late 2022. And Google too is wanting to throw its hat in the ring with its own AR headset and OS. So, expect to hear even more as the months progress.