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Apple’s Headset Reportedly in The Hands of Developers
After months of rumour and speculation, Apple have now reportedly placed their long-awaited Mixed Reality headset in the hands of developers ahead of a potential reveal at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. If that is the case, then we could be looking at a general release and shipping in autumn this year.
As a major part of this intended launch, Apple have reportedly delivered production-level hardware to their software developers to ensure that the product is ready for release and all of the software is at a production release level. With the Apple headset rumoured to be going on sale at around the $3,000 mark, the last thing that the company needs would be to have a launch with a product that is buggy and needs updates to fix problems that haven’t been ironed out.
In the last few months, a multitude of reports have surfaced about the potential capabilities of the headset, including iris scanning for logins and payments as well as a physical dial that will allow you to switch out of virtual reality mode. According to a report published by The Information, it may also feature an integration with the AirPods Pro that enables “an ultra-low-latency mode” when the earbuds are worn in conjunction with the headset. It is also possible that it will place a greater emphasis on work and industrial applications rather than gaming, much like the Meta Quest Pro, and that it will not even come packaged with a gaming controller. However, there have also been rumours of hardware issues and components either not going together as expected and issues with fractures and breakages in drop tests.
This comes after reports that detailed what are purported to be the specifications of Apple’s upcoming headset, which purportedly uses the xrOS operating system. Reports suggest that the upcoming headset will feature dual 4K OLED microdisplays, lenses with a field of view of 120 degrees, automatic interpupillary distance adjustment, LiDAR depth sensors, together with the compatibility with the second generation of AirPods Pro. It is said that the headset is run by an M2 chipset and has a secondary image signal processor. Additionally, rumours say that the headset has “more than a dozen” cameras and sensors for tracking facial expressions, eyes, hands, and legs and feeding the information back into the system. This seems like a powerful package, and it is obvious that there are many physical components to the package, in addition to software components that are required to assist or drive them.
The fact that Apple are now handing work over to dedicated product developers suggests that the majority of the background work has now been done and the project is moving towards full product development, and that is often regarded as the preliminary stage before production. If this is the case then we could well be seeing some kind of significant statement at June’s Developer Conference, and if work continues at a fast pace, it may be more than just the regular rumour-mill speculations and may have something meatier behind it.
We wait with baited breath, and will relay any information back to you as we get it.