Apple’s mixed-reality headset could finally appear next year
New rumors suggest Apple's headset is on the horizon
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Apple AR/VR headset
🥽 Apple’s long-rumored mixed-reality headset might be revealed soon
📅 A fresh rumor pins the device’s release date to next year
⚔ It will likely be going head-to-head with the Meta Quest 3
⛰ But offer broader functionality with its augmented reality features
Apple’s upcoming mixed-reality headset is expected to launch sometime next year, bringing yet another competitor to the increasingly bustling VR headset space.
Following the news that the headset will be capable of scanning users’ eyeballs and launch alongside its own version of the metaverse, people with knowledge of the hardware’s development have told Bloomberg the headset could release as early as next year.
It will be accompanied by an app store for third-party developers and a dedicated operating system – now known as xrOS. The name appears to be shorthand for ‘extended reality’, and a nod to the headset’s dual virtual and augmented reality capabilities.
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Apple looks to be taking a wholly different approach to the technology than Meta, which currently dominates the VR headset market. Offering both VR and AR – which would allow the device to overlay information over the real environment, rather than just presenting it on a screen held very close to your face – the headset could possess some functionality that outstrips that of its rivals.
The Meta Quest 3 is expected to launch sometime next year, but Apple’s mixed-reality headset could pose stiff competition. Add to that the 11,000 layoffs Meta recently announced, partially in response to the hurdles and poor take-up its metaverse continues to face, and the Facebook parent company might want to up its game.
The xrOS operating system will reportedly support headset-compatible versions of FaceTime, Messages and other Apple apps. It’s also expected to feature a whopping 14 cameras, which might allow it to capture the user’s entire, articulated body movement. Combined with the next-gen Mac M2 chipset, it’s sounding like a very powerful bit of kit.
Price will determine its ultimate competitive value. Rumors currently place it between $2,000 and $3,000 – a huge increase over the PSVR 2’s price, and you can bet it won’t have nearly the PSVR 2 games list to match. It’ll be interesting to see how Apple markets the headset and what functionality it leans into.