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Apple Demonstrates its Mixed Reality Headset, To Be Launched by 2023

On November 17, 2017 in Cupertino, California, an augmented reality feature displays the finished Apple Park inside the Apple Park Visitor Center. Image: Amy Osborne | AFP | Getty Images

According to Bloomberg News, Apple demonstrated its mixed reality headset to its board of directors last week. It indicates that the tech giant could soon be launching its next major new product category.

With the launch, Apple could open up new markets and re-create the world-changing introduction of the iPhone back in 2007. However, if it is poorly received, it could renew concerns about its product visions and executions.

Apple’s last major new product category, Apple Watch, was previewed in 2014 and was launched in the following year. Bloomberg expects Apple could be aiming to release the headset by the end of this year or early next year and introduce it to consumers by 2023. However, the tech giant has made no comment on its plans for the headset.

The Bloomberg report expressed the device as a mixed-reality headset and described using cameras on its exterior to stream images to a high-resolution display inside the VR headset, a technique known as “pass-through” AR.

More About Apple’s New Headset

Industry observers predict the ultimate AR device will have transparent lenses and be lighter than a pair of glasses. However, the underlying technology isn’t quite there yet.

There are still questions left unanswered concerning the headset’s price and functionality. According to some sources, its retail price could be approximately $3,000, two times more expensive than a new iPhone model, and could potentially see limited sales. According to the source, Apple intends to develop AR versions of its iPhone apps for the headset.

As with the case of the Apple electric car project, Apple has never officially confirmed that it is working on a headset. However, it has hired thousands of individuals in a division called Technology Design Group. It works on AR/VR tech. So far, Apple has made ARkit software available for iPhones, allowing applications to overlay digital images using the iPhone’s camera.

Apple is Not Alone in the Headset Race

Apple isn’t the only tech behemoth working on a mixed-reality headset.

Last week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off “Project Cambria,” a virtual reality headset with augmented pass-through reality. Meta is also selling the Quest virtual reality headset for $300.

Last week, Google exhibited a smart glasses prototype that can translate different languages in real-time.

Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, is almost here, with a keynote address that frequently includes new product announcements. Apple also holds fresh iPhone launch events in the fall.

According to IDC, the market for AR and VR headsets surged by 92% last year to over 11 million devices. With around 78 percent of sales in 2021, Meta’s Quest 2 headgear presently dominates the market. Because of Apple’s marketing abilities and product ecosystem, the industry’s sales will almost certainly grow significantly over time.

For more details about Apple replacing iPhones, consider reading Smartphone Controls with Eyes and Simple Gestures are Here.