Apple’s mixed reality headset is making headway. Bloomberg reports that the company showed its upcoming mixed-reality headset to the board last week. The preview of the device hints that its development has reached an advanced stage.
Since 2020, it has been rumored that the tech giant is working on a new mixed reality headset to offer an augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) immersive experience which will run on the new rOS, reality operating system. The mixed reality headset is expected to be powered by M1 chip, and feature OLED displays.
Recently, it was reported that the new headset was facing development issues related to overheating batteries, cameras, and software. Apparently, the company has now overcome technical challenges.
Apple’s mixed reality headset will offer an immersive video streaming and conferencing experience.
According to the report, the new headset is codenamed N301 and has been in development since 2015 under the command of the company’s vice president Mike Rockwell and former Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio who now serves as the Vice President of Engineering overlooking an unnamed ‘new project’.
Deemed as the tech giant’s “next big bet” after the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015, the new headset is designed to offer an immersive video streaming and video conferencing experience.
Although the new headset has been in development for more than 5 years, it is still not ready for launch this year and is expected to launch by early 2023. The delay in launch is allegedly attributed to Apple’s former design chief Jony Ive who rejected the concept of creating a VR-only headset because that would have “alienated used from other people by cutting them off from the outside world, made users look unfashionable, and lacked practical uses.”
Therefore, the company decided to develop a mixed reality device and is now developing AR versions of core iPhone apps like FaceTime with Memojis and SharePlay support.
The company has about 2,000 employees working on the device as part of a team known as the Technology Development Group, or TDG.
The company has been working on AR versions of its core iPhone apps for the headset, as well as new apps that will handle tasks such as streaming immersive content and holding virtual meetings.
Therefore, the functionality of Apple’s new AR/VR headset is very different from competing products, especially Meta’s upcoming mixed-reality headset which would offer a virtual reality experience that will transport users into a virtual world to socialize, communicate, trade, and more.