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Apple’s mixed reality headset nears launch and is presented to the company’s board

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Apple has been working on a mixed reality headset for some time, and in a sign that it’s nearing completion, a new report claims that Apple has shown the device to its board members.

Apple’s mixed reality headset is finally around the corner

Mark Gurman and Bloomberg report that Apple first presented “a version” of its upcoming mixed-reality headset to its board of directors, made up of eight independent members and CEO Tim Cook, last week. The company is also said to have ramped up development of its operating system, realityOS (internally referred to as “rOS”).

The move is seen as a sign that development has reached an “advanced stage”. The Silicon Valley-based giant has yet to comment on the progress of its first headset, though these latest developments suggest a public announcement could be just months away.

According to reports, Apple was aiming for an official debut at WWDC 2022 next month. But issues on the hardware side, especially related to overheating, have delayed the announcement. Long before that, the company was originally aiming for a 2019 debut with a release the following year. However, delays pushed this back to 2021, before additional delays moved it to the current timeline.

Apple is now expected to take an official look at its mixed-reality headset in September, along with the iPhone 14 or at an event in early 2023. The mixed-reality headset marks Apple’s first entry into an entirely new product category since the Apple Watch was announced in September 2014. It is also the first major new product since AirPods arrived in 2016.

What will Apple’s first mixed-reality headset bring to the table?

Apple’s mixed-reality headset is rumored to use ultra-high-resolution 4K micro-OLED displays along with eye-tracking capabilities and hand gesture support, allowing users to easily control the wearable. In addition, there is reportedly a powerful, custom Apple processor that is equivalent in performance to the M1 chipsets used in the MacBook and iPad ranges.

The headset’s VR capabilities will be one of its standout features, although Apple’s first headset will also support AR technology. The latter is said to be made possible by an array of up to 15 cameras spread across the device. Also expect spatial audio.

All this seems to be supported by the realityOS operating system. It is expected to support immersive content streaming, virtual meetings, and a slew of AR and VR apps from both Apple and third parties. However, this technology will not come cheap. Reports have suggested Apple’s headset could cost more than $2,000, with some even hinting at a price point closer to $3,000.

All this will eventually serve as a stepping stone to the real consumer-oriented product from Apple: a pair Apple AR glasses, which should be significantly more affordable.

Apple could enter the AR/VR market at the right time

The AR and VR headset market is still in its infancy, but the devices are slowly becoming more mainstream thanks to entries from Meta, Sony’s PlayStation and HTC Vive. A new report today from Counterpoint Research reveals that Meg’s Quest 2, the first VR headset that exceeds 10 million lifetime sales.

That number pales in comparison to the number of smartphones and smart watches each year are sent, but it represents significant progress for the segment. And with Apple’s power to win over consumers, entering the market in the coming year could be the perfect time to overtake Sony and Meta to become the market leader in yet another product category.

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