After years of speculation, a recent report paints a detailed picture of the mixed reality headset, the first presentation of which Apple is said to have scheduled for the kick-off event of this year’s WWDC developer conference in the summer.
Symbolic image: are mixed reality headsets the future?
The inventory published on the online portal of the business news service Bloomberg not only addresses Apple’s atypical margin (no profit should be made on the first version of the $ 3,000 accessory), but also how the glasses work in the store-in-store concept and the headset’s biggest unique selling point: hand and eye tracking.
Initially an expensive curiosity
First of all, the report confirms the well-known fragments and rumors that have been circulating for some time about the new product line from Cupertino, which should eventually be marketed in a way that helps to counter the falling sales of iPhones.
The goggles will initially hit the market as a $3,000 expensive fun item and won’t be accompanied by a low-cost entry-level model until late 2024 or early 2025.
The circulating descriptions of the design must also be correct. The battery, which lasts only two hours, is worn separately on the hip and is not part of the glasses. A precaution intended to serve product safety as the headset may also become warm.
Requires no controllers
The big highlight should be the hand detection, which, unlike competitor products, does not require additional controllers for using the glasses, but allows fully functional use with “bare hands”.
These should allow selecting and launching applications, which Apple displays and offers in typical iPhone fashion as a grid of application icons. iPhone users should feel right at home here and be able to make FaceTime calls, view photos, or take online trips with Safari. Unlike the Apple Watch, no iPhone is required for use.
Cinema room, Mac monitor and virtual iPhone
In terms of content, Apple would rely on FaceTime calls in virtual reality, which enable 1-on-1 life-size conversations and give the users of the glasses the impression of being in the same room with each other. A compute-intensive staging that will initially only be available in two-person conversations and not in group conversations.
In addition to the phone calls, a movie theater experience is planned that will show movies on a virtual cinema screen and deep integration with Apple’s video streaming service, Apple TV+. In addition, the glasses can also be used as an extra monitor on the Mac.
About 1,000 Apple employees are said to have spent more than seven years working on the glasses, which offer both virtual reality and augmented reality modes.
Only in the US for the first time
It remains to be seen whether the product promise to replace parts of everyday iPhone use with hand gestures for oversized ski goggles in the AirPods Max look will be enough to spark widespread interest in the Reality Pro.
But Apple seems to be taking its time. As with the Apple Watch, Cupertino would have considered a late entry to the market. So late that the first generation of the Reality Pro will likely only be sold in the US market.