Apple’s mixed-reality headset will have its own version of the metaverse
Waiting for all this metaverse nonsense to pass? Don't hold your breath
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Apple mixed-reality headset
🥽 Apple’s long-rumored AR/VR headset will feature its own riff on the metaverse
🤯 A series of new job listings describe a 3D mixed-reality world
🍎 Apple will struggle to gain traction around the platform after Meta’s ongoing difficulty whipping up hype for its metaverse
💪 Leaked specs suggest it will be a real beast of a headset
Apple’s long-rumored mixed-reality headset will reportedly feature its own version of the metaverse, alongside a 3D virtual reality video platform.
While we’ve heard rumors that Apple’s been tinkering with an AR/VR headset for a while, and suspect it will be called the Apple Reality One, details of the kit have been kept under tight wraps.
One listing suggests the headset will feature a 3D virtual reality video service. As Bloomberg notes, it follows Apple’s decision to purchase NextVR in 2020 – a platform that provided live and on-demand music, entertainment, and sports coverage in virtual reality through Oculus Quest headsets.
It appears the company is also hiring software engineers to develop a tool that sounds awfully similar to Meta’s metaverse concept. One listing reportedly asks developers to “build tools and frameworks to enable connected experiences in a 3D mixed-reality world”.
“You will work closely with Apple’s UI framework, human interface designers and system capabilities teams – pushing you to think outside-the-box, and solve incredibly challenging and interesting problems in the 3D application space,” the job description says.
While the listing doesn’t mention the metaverse by name – and we wouldn’t expect it to, since it’s Meta’s descriptor of choice for multi-user virtual words – Apple certainly has something similar in mind.
Interestingly, Apple is framing it as a mixed-reality world, not merely virtual reality, suggesting some elements of AR might be involved to go beyond the scope of Meta’s offering. It might well need it. Meta just laid off 11,000 employees and expects its metaverse division will continue operating at a loss into next year.
The headset is expected to feature a total of 14 cameras and iris-tracking. The high camera count will likely let it capture your entire body, including your legs, opening the door to full-body virtual avatars. Iris-tracking, meanwhile, will let users unlock or pay for items without taking off their headset, replacing the need for Face or Touch ID.
Bloomberg also reports the headset will feature the next-gen Mac M2 chips, the highest-resolution display of any consumer headset, and a new Apple operating system – realityOS – which can run existing Apple tools including Messages and FaceTime. It’s expected to cost between $2,000 and $3,000 – a big chunk over the PSVR 2 price and the expected cost of the Meta Quest 3.
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