Mobile Phones

Rumors, availability, and everything we know

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The Apple AR/VR Headset has lived in the rumor mill for a couple of years, generating quite a bit of interest — a lot of it owed to Apple being tight-lipped. But the rampant rumors, alongside the OEM’s growing involvement in the AR and VR market, excite us about the product that’s perhaps coming to market with the Reality Pro branding.


Here we’ve compiled information from several reports floating around the internet to help you stay informed about the Apple Reality Pro headset.


Contents

Pricing and availability

With the headset being a first foray into dedicated AR/VR hardware for Apple, reports have indicated that it will present an expensive ask for interested buyers, with $3000 being the expected price.

As for availability, it’s expected the Apple Reality Pro headset will have its official announcement at WWDC 2023, with open sales beginning later in 2023. It is also prudent to believe the device will reach only a few markets at launch. But fleeting rumors about a cheaper next-generation model, which will arrive afterward, will most likely make the product more accessible.

Apple Reality Pro headset: Hardware

To make it easier to understand what you can expect the user experience to be like, we’ve broken the speculative details available into sections that detail the design, the wearing, and the viewing experience. Lastly, we discuss the internal hardware that makes it possible.

Design

Samsung Gear VR headset
Source: Samsung

The Reality Pro headset will arrive with a design that resembles currently available hardware like the Meta Quest Pro and PS VR, albeit with an increased focus on being lightweight. Renders of the Reality Pro, shared by designer Ian Zelbo, give us the best look at what will launch into the market.

It shows an aluminum unit with a curved display in the front and a mesh-based membrane on the other side that will rest on your face. A head strap made of silicone/ rubber material wraps around the sides of your head, locking the device into place. There’s also supposed to be an Apple Watch-like Digital Crown to switch between the AR and VR modes of the headset.

Wearing Experience

Apple Mixed Reality Headset-2

As for the wearing experience, a report from The Financial Times states the industrial design team at Apple is pushing for a weight nearing 200 grams, which it believes will increase user comfort. But the desire to launch the product without additional delays has reportedly led to CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams overruling the design team’s concerns. So, we can expect the headset to be heavier than intended but still lower than competing hardware, which weighs around 500 grams.

Then there’s the mesh element, which will rest on your face. While there isn’t much information, we speculate this design choice helps decrease the weight and is more breathable, leading to long-term comfort. Although, we wonder how good of a job it will do at blocking out light.

You will also have to wear an external battery designed for wearing around your waist. It is said the unit will power the headset for up to two hours. There will also be support for 96W charging, according to a report by MacRumors.

Viewing Experience

Meta Quest Pro MR Mac

Meta Quest Pro

For viewing, Apple is reportedly building in two 4K micro OLED displays — with up to 3,000 pixels per inch — for an 8K resolution final image. The supplier for this hardware is indicated to be Sony Semiconductors. The manufacturer has been developing micro OLED displays for electronic viewfinders and has a high luminance variant ideal for AR and VR headsets.

The field of view on the headset is reported to be 120 degrees; this is greater than the 106-degree field of view on the Meta Quest Pro. Also, if you have prescription glasses, an attachment built into the headset will allow you to use prescription lenses. The close-to-face design of the headset is expected to prohibit the use of your glasses.

Tracking and Control Experience

Unsplash AR VR

With every headset-type device, user controls are a topic of discussion, and how the Apple Reality Pro will work is a question everyone wants answered. While other offerings on the market currently offer handheld remotes to navigate a user interface, with the Apple Reality Pro, eye and hand tracking will be the norm.

Mark Gurman reports for Bloomberg that the headset will come with numerous cameras on board. These will be distributed for eye-tracking, hand-tracking, and reading the environment around them. The ones placed within the headset, facing towards your eyes, will not only be used for biometric access — iris scanning, as hinted at by some reports — but will also track eye movement to pinpoint applications spread across the user interface.

You can then confirm the action with a pinch motion, which is being tracked by the external cameras. The Digital Crown we mentioned earlier will be used to seamlessly swap between the AR and VR functions of the headset.

Processors

Apple M2 vs M2 Pro vs M2 Max

The Apple Reality Pro headset is sure to pack a lot of components, demanding computation power of the highest order. To that end, the hardware is said to be powered by a dual-processor system.

While there are multiple reports about the ability and build of these processors, a few things are clear. The internal hardware will be based on Apple silicon technology, with the primary processor being in line with the M2 chips we saw launch in 2022. The secondary, which will be less powerful, will be more focused on ancillary tasks like handling graphical user interfaces and additional input from the camera system.

Apple Reality Pro headset: Software

iOS 16 on iPhone

The software ties all the hardware we’ve detailed above together, and reports indicate the Reality Pro headset will bring an all-new operating system dubbed “xrOS.”

Mark Gurman’s information on the operating system details that Apple is trying to recreate an iPhone-like operating system in a 3D environment. And with the lack of physical controls for the device, text input will depend on Siri or devices like your iPhone. Apple’s hardware can already accept inputs from other devices signed into your Apple ID, so this isn’t a far-fetched claim. Another feature we expect to see on the Reality Pro headset is compatibility with Apple’s Mac lineup, where the device can serve as an external display.

What do we want to see on the Apple Reality Pro headset?

With the expected launch of the Apple nearly here, there’s a lot that many expect it to deliver. It’s Apple’s foray into an all-new product category, something that they haven’t done in a while. So, you’d bet we have some expectations from the device. When the product makes its way into the hands of developers and consumers alike, we hope that Apple can guarantee two things.

First, we’d like to see battery performance that keeps the headset going for at least three hours; this would match competing devices and provide enough bandwidth for users to experience use cases like viewing content and playing games properly.

Second, the software experience Apple intends to provide on the device should incorporate iOS and macOS applications into it from the get-go. This will serve as a way to get more developers on board and help garner interest quickly.

As for controls, we think Apple will nail this part of the experience, making Reality Pro a fun product. What are your expectations from the headset when it makes its way to the market? Let us know with a comment below.

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Makes Noise is a blog where you can find all the juicy details on a variety of topics including health and fitness, technology, lifestyle, entertainment, love and relationships, beauty and makeup, sports and so much more. The blog is updated regularly to make sure you have all the latest and greatest information on the topics that matter most to you.

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