Is Apple About To Debut Its AR Headset? Everything We Know So Far
It’s a little over two weeks until Apple’s WWDC event. It’s virtual with a small in-person event for some lucky developers, assuming the in-person part isn’t curtailed.
Could it be the moment that the fabled Apple Glass Augmented Reality headset is unveiled? Here’s everything we know so far.
It’s just been shown to the Apple Board
Well, that’s a clear sign that things are moving apace, if a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is correct. Apparently, the members of the board were shown a demo of the new headset just a few days ago. Gurman says that suggests the unveil could be in “the next several months”. He also says that the announcement is planned for later this year or early next, with a consumer release in 2023.
Gurman says a demo to the board is a typical route towards the finish product, with Siri being demoed “several weeks before its public introduction”.
Several weeks, huh? Doesn’t that tie in with WWDC? Wouldn’t it make a perfect One More Thing element? And wouldn’t it make sense that it would be revealed at an event for developers so that they could start building the apps that the headset will need to thrive?
I think it’s a possibility, and it fits with Gurman’s assertion that work on realityOS (rOS for short) which will power the headset, has gone into overdrive recently.
My thinking on this is that it would be a lot of sense but that the absence of large-scale in-person attendance at WWDC means it’s less likely. But not impossible.
Gurman also says Dub-Dub was the target but that unsolved issues such as overheating and the content for the headset have delayed that. Perhaps the demonstration to the Board means it’s almost back on track?
So far, reports of the headset itself are plentiful but often contradictory. It seems Jony Ive is still involved in it—perhaps not surprising considering he said Apple would remain his main focus after he left—and that it is a standalone device, not connected to a mains supply or computer for its electrical or electronic power.
The rumor is that the first-generation model will cost around $3,000. That’s a lot, and it’s not Apple’s way to release a product and then heavily cut the price for version 2. And, let’s remember, there were a lot of rumors that the first iPad would cost $1,000 until then-CEO Steve Jobs unveiled it at $499. So, I’m taking that pricing rumor with a pinch of salt.
It will be capable of Augmented Reality, but perhaps Virtual Reality, too. It will have twin very high-resolution displays plus a third, lower-res OLED display for peripheral vision, more than a dozen cameras, a LiDAR sensor and a powerful processor.
We’ll know in a couple of weeks if the device really is close enough to be shown to developers. It really is possible, though my gut feeling is there’ll be an in-person event a little later in the year where it will debut. But fingers crossed, eh?