Apple AR/VR headsets will be their next step towards advanced AR technology. AR was first invented in 1968 by Ivan Sutherland, the "father of computer graphics." The first commercial use of AR was made by German advertising agencies. A printed magazine ad for the BMW Mini appeared on the computer screen as soon as it was scanned by the computer's camera. VR headsets have been on the market for quite a while now.
The concept of AR glasses reached its peak popularity in 2013, with the release of Google Glass, but the common people were not ready to integrate such a revolutionary gadget into their daily lives. The tech scenario has changed quite a bit since then.
Apple is currently the world's largest AR platform, with millions of AR devices, alongside thousands of AR apps on the App Store. According to Apple, its hardware and software are designed for AR from a grassroots level, enabling them to provide the best AR experience.
Apple AR/VR headset: Future speculations, rumors, expected price, and release date
The Apple AR/VR headset is supposed to be a precursor to Apple Glass. Apple Glass is rumored to look like a regular designer sunglass with advanced AR features integrated into it. However, the AR/VR headset will look like a VR headset with several external sensors and cameras for AR features to work. It will run RealityOS, specifically designed by Apple for this glass.
Rumors about Apple's mixed reality headset suggest that it will depend on Apple's Memojis and SharePlay features for VR FaceTime calls. It may use 4K micro OLED screens as the primary displays. Everything will be powered by Apple's latest M2 processor.
Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has been a highlighted personality in this whole Apple AR/VR headset topic. His speculations have so far been the most accurate and logical ones.
At the Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference this year, fans expected at least a teaser of Apple's Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality headset. The trademark filing and the new RealityOS hinted at the announcement of the Apple AR/VR headset in WWDC 2022.
However, ahead of WWDC 22, Kuo boldly claimed that the AR/VR headset would not be announced at WWDC 22. He further stated that they won't be released until 2023. In a Tweet on May 31, Kuo mentioned:
"I'm sure that if Apple announces AR/MR headset and its OS at WWDC, competitors will immediately kick off copycat projects and happily copy Apple's excellent ideas, and hit the store shelves before Apple launches in 2023."
Kuo thinks that people already have experienced VR headsets and have an idea about an AR headset. However, they have no clue what the transition between AR and VR might look like, and this will be one of the key selling points of Apple AR/VR headsets (or AR/MR headsets as he terms it).
In another Tweet on June 13, Kuo said:
"I think a complete mixed reality is not only the hardware that can support both AR & VR but the ability to integrate AR & VR and switch them smoothly for different scenarios. That's why I'm using AR/MR to describe Apple's headset expected to hit the store shelves in 2Q23."
He further speculated that Apple will reveal the headset at a media event in January 2023. The development toolkit will be available within two to four weeks after the event. Pre-orders will begin by the second quarter of 2022, and Apple AR/VR headsets will hit the store shelves before WWDC 2023.
A report from The Information claims that Apple AR/VR headsets may cost as much as $3000. Though normal gaming VR headsets cost about $1000 these days, as a mixed reality headset, the price is a bit fine compared to the $3500 Microsoft HoloLens 2.