Apple Mixed Reality Headset to Be Revealed at its WWDC Conference on June 5
Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is planning to reveal its mixed reality headset at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that takes place from June 5 to June 9.
The headset will be Apple’s first new product category ever since it launched the smartwatch eight years ago.
The first day of Apple’s WWDC event often focuses on the company’s next-generation platforms and operating systems. The 2023 Apple event will be an all-day experience and will take place at its Cupertino, CA headquarters, according to Bloomberg.
Apple’s mixed reality headset, which has been under wraps for much of its development, will be the event’s centerpiece. The headset will likely be called Reality Pro or Reality One, according to previous Bloomberg reports. The device’s xrOS operating system will also be showcased at the event along with a guide for developers on how to write apps for the device.
In the announcement of the WWDC event on Apple’s website, there is artwork that depicts the Apple Park campus although there is no hint of its upcoming mixed reality headset. The report says there are also plans to debut the next versions of other Apple products at the event including iPad, iPhone, Mac, and Apple Watch. The WWDC event typically features new versions of software for disparate Apple products including AirPods Apple TVs and Home Pods.
Should Apple launch the mixed reality device, it will join the likes of Meta, HTC, and ByteDance which are already well-established in the XR segment. However, many of these top players such as Meta Platforms are now scaling back their XR investments after incurring billions of dollars in losses. While Meta has produced the most popular VR hardware, its devices are yet to go mainstream.
Apple is hoping to differentiate itself in this market with a high-end mixed reality device with passthrough technology that will cost approximately $3,000 and will feature some of the cutting-edge technologies that are yet to find their way into other consumer headsets.
The Apple headset will feature both eye and hand control, an onboard App Store, and will also include virtual reality-based FaceTime and 3D versions of immersive video streaming and core Apple apps.
The Apple headset also includes a number of external cameras. Its mixed reality function means it blends both virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. Users can not only immerse themselves in virtual reality experiences but also flick a dial on the device to view their external surroundings when they are using the headset. Apple will, thus, be providing a superior product offering with technologies and functionalities that are yet to be embraced by other hardware manufacturers. However, it remains to be seen whether this will trigger wider consumer interest in the hardware.
The WWDC provides a perfect venue for the announcement of the device as the crowd is mostly Pro-Apple and it gives a platform where developers can explore the technology during the week-long event.
Bloomberg reported Apple did various demonstrations early this month to the company’s ‘Top 100’ or its 100 key executives.
If the Apple device is revealed at the WWDC, it will be the company’s first product reveal this year.
Apple announced new Mac Book Pro versions early this year along with an updated HomePod speaker. Plans are also underway to reveal new Macs in the next few months. These will include its first Max Pro model that is not powered by Intel processors as well as a MacBook Air built with a larger screen.
It will be some time before Apple’s expensive and powerful mixed-reality headset gets mainstream acceptance. In the meantime, it is also going to expand the horizons for Apple developers who will now be able to create and monetize immersive content.
Apple will roll out a number of features that will make the headset compatible with other Apple products such as the iPhone and Mac. For developers, this will allow for the development of software across platforms and the expansion of their existing software to new platforms. There will also be able advantages for Apple which will unlock a new revenue stream. Apple’s cut on app sales and subscriptions is as much as 30%.