November 15, 2022
Information continues to trickle out regarding Apple’s new reality altering headset, expected to hit the market next year, possibly as soon as April. Bloomberg reports it will be powered by a Mac-level M2 chip, with more than 10 cameras facing both outward and inward and “the highest-resolution displays ever featured in a mass-market headset,” although the price tag, forecast as between $2,000 and $3,000, doesn’t sound mainstream. The first version of realityOS the company has developed is codenamed Oak. Apple is also reportedly developing 3D content for the new platform.
Apple, which has filed trademark applications for the names Reality Pro and Reality One, is seeking to hire “a software producer with experience in visual effects and game asset pipelines who can create digital content for augmented- and virtual-reality environments,” Bloomberg writes, adding that recent job listings “also imply that Apple is looking to build a video service for the headset featuring 3D content that can be played in virtual reality.”
In 2020 Apple acquired NextVR, which focused on securing VR rights to content from artists and sports leagues. And earlier this month, Mobilegamer.biz reported that Apple had hired two of Playdeo’s three co-founders: Jack Schulze and Timo Arnall.
Based on recent job listings, Apple appears to be looking for engineers who can get its realityOS code interoperating with App Intents, “which lets apps work with features like Siri and Shortcuts,” Bloomberg says, noting realityOS will also “include mixed-reality versions of core Apple apps like Messages, FaceTime and Maps.”
While Bloomberg refers to the device as “mixed reality,” Apple CEO Tim Cook’s comments while on tour in Europe this summer seemed to hint at an AR offering (which some might consider “mixed,” in that it mixes reality with computer generated images).
TechRadar says “it seems there are two different devices in development at the moment: a VR or mixed reality headset, and a more lightweight, AR-based Apple Glasses sort of gadget, which is perhaps going to be similar to Google Glass.”
An unveiling could happen as early as April 2023, according to TechRadar, which says the initial production run will be “relatively low, less than a million units being made to begin with,” targeted enterprise and other business users. That would put it in competition with Microsoft’s HoloLens and the Meta Quest Pro.