Tons of reports over the last few years point to the fact that Apple’s next major product launch will be a mixed-reality headset. According to a new report, Apple has ramped up hiring for the development of the device and it is on track to be launched by 2023.
Apple’s high-end AR/VR headset with realityOS coming next year
In the latest edition of his “Power On,” newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman reiterates some details that have already been revealed about Apple’s long-rumored headset such as its price, chip, and display details.
Here’s what we already knew: The headset itself is likely to be priced between $2,000 and $3,000 because it’s a high-end product that will pack a Mac-level M2 chip, more than 10 cameras placed outside and inside the device, and the highest-resolution displays ever featured in a mass-market headset.
Gurman says that the device will run realityOS, which will include a mixed-reality version of native iOS apps such as Messages, Facetime, and Maps. The journalist confirms that the “first version of the operating system, codenamed Oak, is wrapping up internally and should be ready for the new hardware next year.”
Another key detail is the potential name, as it affirms the high-end nature of the headset. I reported in August that Apple is behind the trademark filings for “Reality Pro” and “Reality One,” suggesting that the company is deciding between those two brands for the device. The “Reality” moniker makes sense given the operating system name and existing Apple AR development tools like RealityKit.
Gurman also says that some recent job listings point to the fact that Apple is ramping up its work on the headset. The tech giant is searching for “a software producer with experience in visual effects and game asset pipelines who can create digital content for augmented- and virtual-reality environments.” The listings suggest that Apple is also looking to ” build a video service for the headset featuring 3D content that can be played in virtual reality.” It is also looking for engineers to help with the development of the headset itself. One listing reads:
“We are looking for a software engineer who will work on the App Intents framework to help design and implement solutions to unlock deep system intelligence, enable new developer tools, and facilitate novel user interactions from application data models which are leveraged by a variety of system services such as Shortcuts, Siri, Search, and more,”
Gurman says that the most interesting job listing is the one that suggests Apple is working on creating a virtual environment. However, it likely will not be anything like the metaverse. Apple’s marketing chief recently said that metaverse is “a word I’ll never use.”