Apple showed off a mixed reality headset capable of both augmented and virtual reality to its board of directors last week and has engineers hard at work on an operating system for the device, according to a report from Apple. Bloomberg. The story notes that while this doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see a headset announced at WWDC next month, it may indicate an announcement is coming.
Bloomberg says there is historical precedent for the board to see devices shortly before an announcement. Apple’s board of directors reportedly got an early demo of Siri in 2011.
It also makes sense that Apple doesn’t want to get involved in software development until the hardware is nearly finished, so it knows what features and software to build. At that point, Bloomberg says that Apple has “increased development” of “Reality OS” or rOS, the operating system that would run on the headset. There’s also another reason why a software push could mean the device is nearing its final stages; it’s easier for hints and software trails to leak before an announcement. We’ve previously seen rOS mentioned in early iOS 13 betas, and it shows up in logs as well.
This device has been in the works for quite some time. According to an article recently published by InformationApple board members were able to demo some prototype AR/VR devices in 2016. The report makes it clear that they were extremely early-stage devices (some were apparently modified HTC Vives, and one allegedly had a crane). to hold the weight of the headphones). out of the neck of the board members), done primarily to act as a proof of concept and to get funding for the project. Dice BloombergBased on the report that the consumer release of the earphones is planned for the end of this year or 2023, it is likely that the one that was shown recently was much closer to its final state.
Leaks indicate that it will be able to both fully immerse you in virtual content and add virtual elements to the real world, likely through a pass-through video feed. form factor wise, Information reported that it will have AirPods Max-esque fabric mesh and a headband that almost looks like a sleek Apple Watch loop.
There are also rumors from prominent analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that it is powered by an M1-class chip. This seems to go with BloombergThe report from earlier this year that Apple had to delay the announcement thanks to “content and overheating-related challenges” as well as difficulties getting the cameras to work properly. However, after years of waiting, we may finally be getting closer to seeing the next new category of device from Apple.