Apple will develop an advanced VR headset to better prepare the ground for augmented reality.
Apple is preparing for its future. In parallel with its well-known consumer products such as iPhone, iPad, Macbook or AirPods, the company is working on new product categories. New markets can come to support its diversified services and benefit from its technological expertise. If we often talk about Apple Car among these projects, the brand is also working in the emerging market of augmented reality.
It may also be a bit nascent for Apple, which is clearly having problems developing a marketable product. This has been reported Bloomberg Written by Mark Gorman, always known for his echo of the inner workings of Apple.
An expensive VR headset from Apple
According to its sources, Apple is now working on a VR headset that will play the role of precursor before moving to augmented reality. This helmet would be a niche product with an especially high selling price. Apple is no longer really skilled at niche products, and one wonders if it’s not an exclusive product for developers. Like the Mac Mini DTK that allowed developers to start working in the summer of 2020 on Mac applications at ARM.
to me BloombergThis helmet will first be a virtual reality product, with a full 3D environment that allows you to play, watch videos and communicate, before offering some augmented reality experiences thanks to external cameras. You will benefit from a powerful processor developed by Apple. The company has specialized in designing chips that are efficient and consume very little energy, which is ideal for a helmet.
Surprisingly, the article notes that the headset will currently have a built-in fan, indicating that the processor will heat up too much for passive use. Bloomberg He notes that the current prototype, the N301, has reached a good stage of development, but since it is a simple prototype, it can still be fully revised.
Apple’s augmented reality glasses, codenamed N421, are still in their infancy. Apple will still be working on the foundational technologies for such a product, which would be a potential release for the very long term.
Don’t expect the “iPhone effect”
Apple has been able to achieve great success over the past 20 years. There is the iPhone, of course, but we can also think of the iPad, AirPods, or even the iPod and iTunes, the predecessor of Apple Music. With these products, Apple has sometimes succeeded in revolutionizing or creating product categories, new markets in which competitors compete.
When we imagine Apple embarking on virtual reality, we can therefore wonder if the brand will outpace sector giants such as Oculus, HTC, Valve or PlayStation. sources Bloomberg She points out that this is not the goal of the Cupertino company. The brand will be aware of the limited audience for this type of product, and don’t imagine making it a consumer product. This also leaves one wondering what selling price Apple is targeting, when the Oculus Quest 2 will be priced under €400.
Project for 2022
Also, according to the article, Apple’s virtual reality headset is currently planned for 2022. The transition to augmented reality won’t happen before 2023, at best, and maybe even later. Among the challenges for Apple, the weight of the VR headset will be too much. The company in particular would have chosen to sacrifice the adapter that allows people who wear glasses to wear the helmet. In order for the helmet to be used by these people, Apple would need to manufacture special, prescription lenses, which obviously create problems in the face of various regulators in the world.