While there has been plenty of skepticism about Apple’s upcoming Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality headset, due to its rumored expensive price tag and the somewhat lacking performance of Sony’s and Meta’s headsets, at least one person that’s actually tried the product is quite enthused about it.
Reliable Leaker Evan Blass, who has provided predictions about Apple’s plans in the past, says he knows a person who has had the opportunity to try out the headset. Blass said that during the last few months, the tester’s opinion about the headset has progressed from “lamenting its ‘underwhelming’ capabilities” to being “blown away” by the AR/VR experience and the hardware.
“The leap they’ve made since [late last year] is giant,” the Apple tester told Blass. “I was so skeptical; now I’m blown away in a ‘take my money kind of way,'” they said. Blass shared the details on his Twitter account, which is private.
Apple is expected to unveil its much-rumored AR/VR headset at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2023) in June. The Cupertino firm has been developing the AR/VR headset for several years, and its debut has been delayed several times as the company has been working on issues with the headset’s design and the software.
“Apple’s announcement event is likely the last hope for convincing investors that the AR/MR headset device could have a chance to be the next star product in consumer electronics,” Apple industry analyst Min-Chi Kuo said on Wednesday.
There have been several reports of observers’ growing skepticism that Apple will offer a product that people will actually buy. In March, The New York Times reported that Apple employees were concerned about the device’s price point headset and whether it is a “solution in search of a problem,” and whether it is “driven by the same clarity” as other Apple devices.
The AR/VR headset is expected to be expensive, with many observers expecting its price to come in at more than $3,000. Some rumors have said the headset will be initially a bit limited in usefulness, similar to the first few generations of the Apple Watch in terms of functionality. Apple quickly made strides in expanding the Apple Watch’s technical capabilities, eventually transforming it into the device we wear on our wrists today.
Apple’s headset is expected to be called either the “Reality Pro” or “Reality One.” (What? Not “iGlasses?”) The new headset is expected to feature dual 4K micro OLED displays from Sony, for an 8K total resolution. More than a dozen cameras will be used for mapping the area around the user, interpreting gestures, reading facial expressions, and more.
The headset is said to boast a curved visor manufactured from aluminum, glass, and carbon fiber, hopefully resulting in a lighter-weight device. The battery powering the headset is said to be worn at the waist to prevent the headset from being too heavy.
Apple is reportedly concentrating on gaming, wellness, and collaboration apps for the device. Apple-designed apps such as Safari, Calendar, Contacts, Home, Photos, Music, Reminders, Files, Messages, Notes, and other built-in apps will be optimized for the headset. The apps are reportedly being adapted from iPad apps of the same names, and the built-in apps will be optimized for the headset and users will be able to access existing App Store content via a 3D interface.