Apple is About to Ruffle the Waves With its AR/VR Headset
Apple’s much-anticipated mixed-reality headset is set to be unveiled in early June during the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The launch comes after several postponements over the years and there are reports that the company is already anticipating production challenges that may see the launch coming at a much later date in the year.
The Apple headset will be launching at a difficult time in the XR market. 2022 saw a decline in the global shipments of augmented reality and virtual reality headsets. The user penetration for augmented reality and virtual reality headsets is currently below 2%. Besides, the majority of employees are still uninterested in using technology in the workplace. The gaming industry is currently seeing boom times and AR/VR shipments are expected to rise by 14%.
The VR space is still dominated by the Meta Quest headsets and Apple is set to join and potentially, disrupt the space.
Apple has some good things going for it such as strong consumer trust and its massive content ecosystem that it can leverage to ensure the success of its headset and mixed reality ambitions.
History of the Apple Headset
Apple has been developing its AR/VR headset since 2015. Although Apple boss Tim Cook has greater enthusiasm for augmented reality, the company’s first device will be an AR/VR headset much like Meta’s recently released Quest Pro.
The Apple headset will be costly and is expected to sell at about $3,000 which will put it beyond the reach of most mainstream consumers. According to reports, the headset has diverged from Tim Cook’s vision of a mixed-reality device that looks like low-profile eyeglasses. According to reports, the Apple headset looks like a pair of ski goggles and uses a separate battery pack.
However, in spite of its steep price tag, by consumer XR device standards, the headset is still expected to disrupt the market. Analysts expect the entry of Apple into the fray to legitimize the market. The company is already a major player in the smartphone and computer hardware market and it is expected its new device will generate considerable buzz and attract new users into the XR space.
Most of the augmented reality products are currently focusing on enterprise and industrial use cases so consumer AR hardware is expected to make a huge statement and draw in some of the mainstream users into this fledgling market.
The entry of Apple could also be a boon for the VR content ecosystem, one area that is currently facing many challenges as developers continue to show a lukewarm attitude to VR content. Analysts expect content to be one of Apple’s major differentiators, drawing on its large developer community and successful content model.
Some analysts expect the Apple headset to knock Meta off the charts in its VR hardware dominance. However, with a $3,000 price tag, the high consumer expectations may not align with the realities of Apple hardware. The ideal AR headset for consumers would be one that looks pretty much like conventional eyeglasses but it will be some years before that design threshold can be crossed.
There are also challenges on the enterprise side of the business. Expectations at the practical level still do not align with what is practically realizable.
The XR industry as a whole is yet to hit that sweet spot when the technical sophistication of the hardware will match consumer expectations.https://virtualrealitytimes.com/2023/05/24/apple-is-about-to-ruffle-the-waves-with-its-ar-vr-headset/https://virtualrealitytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Apple-Headset-Render-600x340.pnghttps://virtualrealitytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Apple-Headset-Render-150x90.pngBusinessApple’s much-anticipated mixed-reality headset is set to be unveiled in early June during the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The launch comes after several postponements over the years and there are reports that the company is already anticipating production challenges that may see the launch coming at a much...Rob GrantRob Grant[email protected]AuthorVirtual Reality Times