Apple will likely release its Reality Pro headset, a mixed-reality product, later this year. As the Cupertino firm breaks into the metaverse and a new product category since the Apple Watch announcement a few years ago, reports regarding its first generation show that this headset is sounding less like an Apple product and more like a first-time experiment.
Currently, The Information and Bloomberg are among the publications with the most details regarding this upcoming product. Now, Mark Gurman, in his latest Power On newsletter, shows that the Reality Pro headset doesn’t seem like a product Apple evangelists would expect the company to announce. He writes:
“(It will undoubtedly be a marvel and far more advanced than anything else on the market. But it will also be impractical and too expensive for most consumers. That’s because it will only last about two hours per charge, not work well outdoors, launch with a limited array of content and feature a design that some have deemed uncomfortable.”
Apple constantly struggles with first-gen products. The first iPhone didn’t have a 3G connection, the App Store, and even the ability to Copy and Paste text. The first Apple Watch, for example, didn’t have a GPS sensor, relying on the iPhone to record outdoor workouts. The first iPad didn’t have a camera for video calls.
That said, none of these products cost $3,000 – I mean, if you forget about that $10,000 gold Apple Watch model – so it’s weird that Applés mixed reality headset looks so unpractical.
Gurman says he doesn’t believe “Apple had identified a truly ‘killer app’ for the device yet” as the company “is hoping that immersive video watching, tight integration with other Apple products, and advanced VR-based FaceTime calls will reel in consumers.”
Here’s what we know about Apple’s Reality Pro headset
According to Gurman, the $3,000 Reality Pro headset will be made from aluminum, glass, and cushions. It will have a curved screen on the front that can “outwardly show a wearer’s eye, with speakers on the sides and a headband that helps fit the device around a user’s head.”
The headset will have two ultra-high-resolution displays, as previously reported, to handle the VR. A collection of external cameras will enable an AR “pass-through mode.” Apple will even offer users with prescription glasses custom lenses that sit within the enclosure itself.
Apple’s Mixed Reality headset will have a Digital Crown, switching between VR and AR modes. FaceTime software, for example, will render a user’s face and full body in virtual reality in one-on-one chats. Additional users on a group call will appear as an icon or Memoji.
The headset’s operating system, internally called xrOS, will have many of the same features as an iPhone and iPad but in a 3D environment, including Safari, Photos, Mail, Messages, and Calendar app.