All the things we Know so Far


It appears the whole XR trade is breathlessly awaiting the announcement of the Apple VR/AR headset and for good purpose. The Apple impact, as it’s identified, will broaden the buyer and enterprise market and push Immersive Tech and the Metaverses to new heights because the notorious Apple headset seems to be spectacular and push the boundaries of what’s attainable.

Thus, The Metaverse Insider has vacuumed all of the information, rumors, speculations, leaks, and official statements to supply this text presenting you all the pieces we all know thus far concerning the anticipated Apple VR/AR headset. Let’s get to it.

Apple VR/AR headset launch date

Ongoing rumors and missed calls have indicated that an Apple announcement of their premium Blended Actuality headset is imminent at their Worldwide Builders Convention (WWDC). But, prior “this 12 months Apple’s Blended Actuality headset will probably be introduced” articles are met with crickets when the WWDC keynotes start. Regardless of this, it appears confirmed that WWDC23 on June 5 would be the date Apple’s premium Digital/Augmented Actuality headset will probably be proven formally to the world.

And whereas a debacle has bounced over the kind of actuality machine Apple will announce. It appears to be the premium, dearer, and feature-rich variant than an entry-level headset meant to draw as many patrons as attainable.

If the Apple MR headset is introduced on June 5, we are going to doubtless see it hit the market in Fall 2023.

How a lot will the Apple VR/AR headset price?

Naturally, the kind of Blended Actuality headset Apple will announce – whether or not premium or entry – dictates its worth. And whereas we’ve got had totally different prompt worth factors all through the rumor years, the premium Apple VR/AR headset will price between $2,000 to $3,000.

Thus, the Apple machine will goal enterprises and rich prosumers, just like their 6K decision Professional Show XDR. Alternatively, the consumer-facing follow-up headset will price round $1,000 and compete towards Meta Quest Professional and Pico 4 Enterprise in worth and options as a standalone Blended Actuality headset.

What’s the Apple VR/AR headset referred to as?

The Apple VR/AR headset has been within the cooker since late 2015 – see beneath for extra particulars – and was internally named inside Apple Park: ‘Mission N301’.

Later primarily based on trademark filings, which had been additional cross-confirmed from rumors and nameless statements, the Apple VR/AR headset will probably be named Apple Actuality One or Apple Actuality Professional. This additionally correlates with the working system’s identify, which we are going to get to in higher element later on this article.

From this level ahead, we will probably be utilizing Apple Actuality One and Apple Actuality Professional interchangeably.

How highly effective is Apple’s VR/AR headset?

As Apple is understood for, their upcoming VR/AR headset will probably be a power to be reckoned with in graphical constancy and functionality to deal with any standalone VR software or recreation you throw at it.

Initially, the rumor was that Apple Actuality Professional would characteristic the Apple-designed and manufactured System-on-Chip (SoC) named Silicon as M1 or M2. An SoC that took the laptop computer world by storm in 2020 and repositioned the MacBook Professional and Air again onto the laptop computer stage after years of missing behind its PC rivals. Now, it seems just like the successor – M2 chip – will run the MR headset with devoted cooling. We’ll circle again to the difficult thermodynamics that delayed the Apple MR headset.

If we are going to see the M2 chipset within the coming Apple Actuality Professional, it’s going to, by a major margin, be leaps and bounds forward of different standalone Blended Actuality headsets run by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 or XR2+ infrastructure.

And to high it off, Apple Actuality One is claimed to have a whopping 16GB of RAM, though we don’t know what sort. Additional, a devoted H2 chip will probably be carried out to seamlessly and with ultra-low latency join with AirPods Max or AirPods Professional. In different phrases, there will probably be no 3.5mm headphone jack.

When taken into context, this powerhouse of an Apple Blended Actuality headset checks out when contemplating the mindboggling twin 4K micro-OLEDs the headset is specced with. A degree we may even get again to.

Lastly, my principle is that the premium Apple Actuality One and entry-level follow-up headset will characteristic the M2 chipset, just like Apple laptops and computer systems, however differentiate on different options, show constancy, and different specs.

Why was Apple’s VR/AR headset delayed?

As alluded to earlier, the Apple VR/AR headset has been in improvement limbo since late 2015.

In early 2016, a Blended Actuality proof of idea headset wowed the Apple board sufficient to maintain the mission going, as in addition they expressed issues over Fb’s pursuits in Digital Actuality and the Metaverse.

Nevertheless, as improvement turned in the direction of Digital Actuality as an alternative of Blended Actuality, the Apple headset skilled missing help from the board and Tim Prepare dinner, slowing the progress. But, as time handed and Immersive Know-how matured, Tim Prepare dinner rotated.

As Cook told CQ, “We all the time thought that glasses weren’t a wise transfer, from a viewpoint that folks would probably not wish to put on them. They had been intrusive, as an alternative of pushing know-how to the background, as we’ve all the time believed… My considering all the time evolves, Steve [Jobs] taught me properly: by no means to get married to your convictions of yesterday. To all the time, if introduced with one thing new that claims you had been incorrect, admit it and go ahead as an alternative of continuous to hunker down and say why you’re proper.”

Even then, the event crew behind the Apple headset wanted vast govt help, which prompted, Jony Ive, spearheading the design division at Apple, to specific his doubts over individuals being keen to put on a VR headset for hours each day. This threw a wrench within the pipeline of the headset because it then on was become a Blended Actuality headset. Additional, the magnetized pull I’ve exhibited additionally pivoted the headset from a PC VR headset required to be related to a PC to a completely standalone Blended Actuality headset.

Finally, this may flip for the higher however delayed its improvement. By the way, this modification from a PC VR headset to an all-in-one standalone machine sparked the hypothesis that the headset wouldn’t be the premium $3,000 product however a lower-priced client headset.

All these inner frictions and lack of path crystalized itself in 2019 when a Blended Actuality standalone prototype was despatched to engineering and validation testing. But, the subsequent stage of problems occurred. As a result of on the testing, quite a few points had been met from lack of correct warmth dispersion (doubtless from an overclocked ARM-based processor) and monitoring sensor difficulties.

Additional, it is usually doubtless the Covid pandemic, subsequent provide chain bottlenecks, and restricted provide of superior semiconductors delayed the Apple headset much more, lacking its gossiped announcement and launch between 2020 and 2022.

We at the moment are previous the entanglements, disagreements, and malfunctioning {hardware} to strongly point out the approaching announcement to seem on WWDC23 in lower than a month.


Apple metaverse

In correct Apple model, inner stories and nameless sources advised Mark Gurman from Bloomberg Know-how that the normal Meta (Fb) Metaverse, can be ‘off-limits’ for Apple. In different phrases, Apple will carve its personal digital path.

That is doubtless additional emphasised to keep away from the damaging connotations hooked up to the Metaverse whereas additionally marking that Apple’s Metaverse will probably be distinctly Apple, which suggests a Walled Backyard from a tightly interwoven Apple software program and {hardware} ecosystem. In reality, it’s hardly ever identified that Apple is main the AR market from its iOS app retailer via the iPhone and iPad. Thus, we are going to see ports from first-party and third-party AR apps to the Blended Actuality Apple headset. As an anonymous Apple source stated: the Apple Metaverse can have “bursts of gaming, communication, and content material consumption,” and never be “an all-day machine.”

See additionally: Will Apple Metaverse Become the New Meta in 2023?

Apple VR/AR Headset Show

What customers gained’t be prepared for would be the absolute beast of a show and visible efficiency the Apple Actuality Professional will ship. As a result of as talked about earlier, the rumored show setup will probably be a twin 4K micro-OLEDs manufactured by Sony, amounting to a whopping 8K decision. For context, the one standalone VR headset that rivals this visible readability is the Pimax Crystal QLED which suffers from being a large shoebox strapped onto your head and a blur impact when the headset is in movement. It’s, subsequently, particularly spectacular while you see the 3D renders which have been launched of this futuristic Apple MR machine.

In reality, it seems like Apple Realty Professional will make the most of the newer pancake lens know-how, enabling the headset to attain a slimmer stature and lighter weight, one thing Apple persistently has prioritized with its product design. Notably, the pancake lens additionally produces a a lot clearer picture than different lens varieties akin to fresnel, i.e., fewer god rays and bug-net results.

As a be aware and some extent towards Apple utilizing pancake optics, is that the corporate purchased LIMBAK, the lens producer of the Lynx R1, that includes a wholly in-house designed lens referred to as free-form 4-fold catadioptric prism. Whereas it isn’t probably the most interesting identify, this Lynx lens nonetheless achieves a light-weight and slim design. Nevertheless, all rumors point out the Apple Actuality Professional will characteristic the pancake lens stack over the Lynx optics.

Again to the show, further speculations point out that Apple will mirror Varjo’s iconic Bionic Show™ answer seen of their high-fidelity XR headsets. This implies the Apple MR machine will undertake a quartet show setup, two per eye. Specifically, two micro-OLEDs for the wearer’s middle imaginative and prescient produced by Sony and two AMOLEDs for the peripheral imaginative and prescient by LG. This two-display setup per eye means totally different decision densities optimized to how our eyes naturally see. In different phrases, Apple Actuality One will obtain a visible crispness of 32 pixels per diploma (PPD) on the periphery from the rumored 120 levels subject of view (an FoV just like the Valve Index), with a middle focal decision of 60 PPD.

First, 32 basic PPD is remarkably excessive for standalone headsets. For context, the Oculus Quest 2 has 17.6 PPD. But when Apple manages to attain 60 PPD on the middle, it’s akin to looking your window in visible constancy. Completely mindblowing, particularly for a transportable standalone headset.

So, if it wasn’t clear, the Apple Actuality Professional will probably be a beast in delivering immersion in a standalone Blended Actuality headset. Whereas we expect it’s unrealistic for the Apple machine to attain 60 PPD, 32 PPD is probably going and will probably be a benchmark throughout the trade and set a brand new customary in visible high quality.

Apple VR/AR Headset Options

Superior monitoring

As a result of Apple employs the philosophy of pushing high-powered tech behind user-friendly and accessible interplay, the Apple Actuality Professional gained’t have controllers. As a substitute, the Apple headset will characteristic the dearer LiDAR sensors for monitoring usually seen in premium AR headsets. LiDAR is a monitoring system utilizing lasers than cameras to trace the wearer’s atmosphere. On a comedic be aware, Apple utilizing LiDAR monitoring and a spatial sensor for improved Blended Actuality is a jab towards Meta’s premium MR headset Meta Quest Professional, which was criticized for not having a spatial sensor to the detriment of its Blended Actuality being jittery.

Equally, the Apple Actuality One will include native hand monitoring. It was even rumored, primarily based on a patent attained in 2023, that Apple will promote good rings to allow management via finger gestures akin to typing in Blended Actuality. Alternatively, Apple Actuality Professional may even have the ability to join and be managed utilizing your iPhone or Apple Watch over low-latency WiFi 6E.

Moreover, primarily based on one other patent Apple gained on an infrared eye-tracking system, we should always count on the Apple Actuality headset to characteristic eye monitoring. This additional allows the machine to have foveated rendering. Briefly, dynamic foveated rendering works by optimizing the processing of graphics primarily based on the place the consumer is wanting, and thus foveated rendering solely works with eye monitoring. It’s stated that foveated rendering when utilized appropriately, can enhance graphical constancy by as much as ten occasions and is essential for advancing standalone MR headsets.

Lastly, eye monitoring additionally means we should always count on iris scanning and Face ID on the upcoming Apple Actuality Professional.

Apple Actuality Professional will ship superior Blended Actuality

Since late 2022, Blended Actuality has grown right into a nook characteristic in VR headsets. To say some Digital Actuality headsets like this, we’ve got the just lately launched units of Meta Quest Professional, Pico 4, and HTC Vive XR Elite, with upcoming releases akin to Lynx R1 and Lenovo ThinkReality VRX. For sure, the early days’ path of Blended Actuality on the Apple Actuality Professional will probably be to its profit upon launch.

One such profit is the included LiDAR depth sensor which can allow digital objects to be extra secure and anchored into the atmosphere across the wearer. Solely the Lynx R1 and HTC Vive XR Elite characteristic such a devoted Augmented Actuality sensor.

However not like the R1 and XR Elite which have an open design across the wearer, the Apple Actuality Professional will totally enclose the wearer when utilizing Digital Actuality, whereas the consumer can toggle Blended Actuality on or off via a crown swap. 

The distinctive MR glasses design of Apple Actuality Professional

Curiously, the battery pack of the Apple standalone MR headset will probably be exterior and clipped to your facet whereas on the go. This means the Apple VR/AR headset will undertake an analogous performance and design because the HTC Vive XR Elite. Specifically, the XR Elite’s distinctive operate is its MR glasses characteristic when the battery is indifferent. This Blended Actuality glasses design opens quite a few use instances for the wearer, as utilizing this type issue on the XR Elite is good for workplace work or different sedentary conditions akin to commuting.

Sadly, the run time for the one exterior battery is claimed to solely be 2 hours, just like the Meta Quest Professional, which acquired important flak for this. Thus, count on customers to buy further battery packs as equipment when the Apple Actuality Professional is launched.

What is going to the Apple MR headset appear to be?

This brings us to how the Apple VR/AR headset will appear to be.

At first, rumors alluded to a design utilizing materials reasonably than steel or plastic. This has since been discarded, doubtless resulting from warmth dispersion points. What we all know is the Apple Actuality One will clock in at 300 to 400 grams in weight. This makes the Apple MR headset the second-lightest standalone machine in the marketplace, solely overwhelmed by the HTC Vive Stream. By the way, an HTC headset Apple took a lot inspiration from for its broad client attraction and VR glasses kind issue.

As for the Apple VR/AR headset form and design, it appears from 3D renders it’s going to appear to be snowboarding goggles. A well-recognized form dictated by the pancake lens, proving the headset will use the pancake lens and never the identical optics because the Lynx R1. The very best render thus far is by Marcus Kane, see it beneath.


Apple’s VR/AR Working System

Following the Apple development, the OS of all XR units will probably be solely developed in-house. An working system that was known as “rOS” internally at Apple however was later present in open-source code on GitHub as “RealityOS”.

Now that the notorious announcement is inching nearer, the Apple Actuality Professional OS will probably be referred to as “xrOS” primarily based on current trademark filings. Additional, we are going to doubtless see ported XR variations of native Apple apps akin to Safari, Pictures, iMessage, iMaps, Apple TV, Apple Music, Podcasts, FaceTime, Calendar, and extra.

Notable XR acquisitions by Apple

Earlier than we wrap up all these tidbits of Apple XR info, it’s value taking a gander at Apple’s VR/AR-related acquisitions.

In 2013, Apple bought PrimeSense, a full-body motion-tracking firm used within the Microsoft Xbox Kinect platform. Whereas the Apple Actuality Professional is rumored to make use of LiDAR scanners to map its atmosphere and PrimeSense was primarily based round infrared mild for monitoring, PrimeSense patents will need to have crept their manner into the premium MR Apple headset.

Whereas in early 2016 and 2017, Apple purchased two corporations, Emotient and RealFace, which offered software program to acknowledge facial expressions used for safety features and advertisers to check client reactions. Apple might have carried out the software program from these two organizations to enhance the monitoring of facial expressions, indicating that the Apple VR/AR headset can have face monitoring just like the Meta Quest Professional.

Additionally in 2017, Apple acquired Vrvana, an organization that by no means noticed its know-how hit the sunshine of day earlier than Apple swooped them up. Vrvana developed a prototype headset referred to as Totem that mixed VR and AR, crafting a succesful Blended Actuality headset. Naturally, this acquisition doubtless assisted the Apple Actuality Professional in its improvement.

Must you get the Apple Actuality Professional or one other VR headset?

There are quite a few definitions of Blended Actuality within the information and thought management sphere on Immersive Tech, and this text will muddle the waters a bit extra. As a result of the Apple Actuality Professional will probably be an MR headset, that means it will likely be a Digital Actuality machine with Augmented Actuality options from beaming a stay video feed to the wearer’s eyes.

That is vital as a result of as Blended Actuality advances, the competitors between headsets narrows. Thus, when Apple Actuality One releases in Fall 2023, it’s going to go up towards different MR headsets and premium AR units.

The selection, then, comes all the way down to versatility from Blended Actuality or purely Augmented Actuality.

There is just one different premium, feature-rich, and enterprise-focused MR headset towards the Apple Actuality Professional, and that’s the Meta Quest Professional. And whereas the Quest Professional has a cheaper price tag and delivers a poorer visible efficiency, it’s the closest to Apple Actuality Professional.

Alternatively, the center floor for Blended Actuality, which additionally connects with the indifferent battery performance, is the HTC Vive XR Elite. Whereas the entry-level to MR, it will likely be onerous to beat the Lynx R1 and Pico 4 Enterprise price-to-quality ratio.

Nonetheless, on the backside line, the closest headset going towards the Apple Actuality Professional would be the Meta Quest Professional, and it will likely be fascinating to see how all the pieces modifications upon Apple’s entry into the fact market.

If Augmented Actuality is the main focus, there are solely two premium choices: Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Magic Leap 2. These AR headsets match the Apple Actuality Professional in worth level. Nevertheless, neither of those AR units has Digital Actuality performance however assumedly an improved Augmented Actuality efficiency.

Finally, we should wait till the much-awaited Apple Actuality Professional hits the cabinets earlier than we are able to decide something with certainty.


Wrap-Up: What can we are saying with certainty concerning the Apple Actuality Professional?

With all this info, considerably scattered and aggregated over years of leaks, rumors, nameless statements, and official quotes, what we are able to safely conclude is that this:

  • The Apple MR headset will probably be introduced at WWDC23 on June 5 and be launched in Fall 2023.
  • It is going to be named “Apple Actuality Professional” or “Apple Actuality One”.
  • The Apple Actuality Professional will probably be a premium Blended Actuality headset with a lofty price ticket of between $2.000 to $3.000.
  • The Apple Actuality machine will probably be an all-in-one standalone Blended Actuality headset.
  • The Apple headset will probably be run by a modified M2 Apple Silicon chipset with 16GB of RAM.
  • The first causes behind the quite a few delays that plagued the Apple headset had been lack of govt help, particularly from Tim Prepare dinner, a change in path from Jony Ive in the direction of a transportable Blended Actuality headset, overheating points, the pandemic, provide chain bottlenecks, and the following superior semiconductor scarcity.
  • The Apple Actuality Professional will undertake a distinctly Apple Metaverse, i.e., locked in a closed ecosystem tightly built-in with different Apple merchandise meant for productiveness and gaming, not Social VR. Additional, the working system will see XR ports of native Apple apps akin to FaceTime, Calendar, iMessage, Apple TV, and extra.
  • The Apple MR headset will characteristic the most effective show and visible efficiency in the marketplace for standalone headsets, with twin micro-OLEDs by Sony clocking in at a 4K decision per eye in a 120-degree subject of view via the newer pancake lens.
  • Its standalone monitoring will probably be from LiDAR sensors, not the cheaper optical cameras, and have a devoted depth sensor for superior Blended Actuality efficiency.
  • The Apple Actuality One may even have built-in eye and hand monitoring, presumably aided by wearable good rings for improved finger gestures.
  • The Apple machine will weigh between 300 to 400 grams and be ultraslim in kind issue, wanting like snowboarding goggles with a indifferent battery tethered to the headset, just like an influence financial institution.

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