Report: Apple Working on a High-End Standalone VR Headset
A new Bloomberg report emerged this week that Apple is developing a high-end standalone VR headset which is “mostly virtual reality” although it also has some limited AR features.
Bloomberg first reported on this device in mid-2020 following a 2019 article on The Information citing “people with knowledge of the matter” and the Bloomberg reported had stated that the device would be a precursor to VR headsets that have more advanced features and that would be used for media consumption, gaming and communication.
The initial report cited that the device would have a glasses spacer that would allow users wearing prescription glasses to accommodate them inside the VR headset. According to the latest report, that feature has now been removed from the headset to help size it down although it will give users the option to acquire custom prescription lenses.
The current design also has a fan that cools the system and also includes a fabric overlay.
According to the report, Apple is likely to release a device, that is still in the prototype phase, under the codename N301 and that it will be a lot more expensive than Facebook’s Quest 2 headset that is priced from as low as $299. The Apple headset will also utilize the company’s latest chips and features a “much higher-resolution” display than is found in the current headsets.
According to the article, certain versions of the Apple headset are of the same size as of the Oculus Quest headset (the article doesn’t state whether the original Quest or Quest 2). The new headset also features “external cameras to enable some AR features” along with hand-tracking. However, these features might not ship the Apple device.
The Apple VR device also runs a new operating system that is labelled ‘rOS’. According to the Bloomberg report, plans for the device might also be scrapped and some of the insiders at Apple don’t expect the first iteration of the device to do well in the market.
The Bloomberg report is supported by recent patent filings that seem to indicate that Apple is working on some VR headset. Not much is known though about the company’s future plans for more dedicated Augmented Reality devices.