The Apple VR/AR headset is expected to make its long-awaited debut at WWDC 2023 in June. We already have a good idea regarding some aspects of Apple’s debut VR headset. It’s expected to be a mixed reality headset akin to the Meta Quest Pro and will come with a shocking price tag — currently rumored to be $3,000. But we don’t really know what it will look like.
That may finally be changing. As reported by our friends at iMore, a new fully 3D render of the Apple headset — possibly dubbed the Apple Reality Pro — is out in the wild and it looks gorgeous. The 3D render was done by Marcus Kane, who has done renders for unreleased VR headsets in the past such as this slimmed-down Meta Quest 3.
Seriously, this thing looks sleek. Gone is the bulky headset design of the Meta Quest 2 and the Meta Quest Pro. Instead, we get a pair of goggles more in line with the HTC Vive Flow. The way that the Apple VR/AR headset accomplishes this? Ditching the battery from the headset and having an external battery pack connected via cable to power the device instead.
We’ve been expecting this design for a while, though it is definitely eyebrow-raising to see it now in a render. While the brown leather carrying case is certainly chic, I would be lying if I said I was thrilled by the choice. A lack of wires and its standalone design has been a big reason why the Meta Quest 2 remains our top choice for the best VR headset, even if it’s not the most graphically impressive. And we’ve seen headsets such as the PICO 4 and Quest Pro keep the battery attached without having it be the bulky, front-heavy behemoth that is the Quest 2’s built-in battery.
Even worse? The external battery isn’t expected to be impressive. The Apple AR/VR headset reportedly has terrible battery life, potentially lasting just two hours. That’s on par with the Quest 2 and other current VR headsets that don’t require an external power supply. I get that Apple wants to have a sleek device to go with its other brilliantly designed products, but I feel there was a way to do that and still have this be a standalone headset.
Apple VR/AR headset: Additional design features
Aside from the battery pack, Kane’s render does show off two other design elements that are worthy of notice. First, is the action button at the top of the headset. The action button already exists on the Apple Watch Ultra and can do anything from starting workouts to using shortcuts. It’s also rumored to make an appearance on the iPhone 15 Pro, but we haven’t heard anything about what it could do on the Apple VR/AR headset. It will be interesting to see if that feature ends up on the final product.
The other design element of note is the reality dial, which can switch the mixed reality headset between augmented reality and virtual reality. This is something that recently came to light in a Bloomberg report that highlighted several expected features of the new headset, so while it is a newer rumor it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see it on the final version of the Apple headset.
Keep in mind though that this is just a render. While Kane has a good track record — his Quest 3 render looks highly plausible — there’s still no guarantee that the final product will look like this. So stay tuned to our WWDC coverage where we should finally see the Apple VR/AR headset in all its glory.