Apple has always been interested in augmented reality and virtual reality. And if, as usual, the company barely mentions its plans, various patents and acquisitions it’s made in recent years suggest a product is in development.
Apple is rumored to be launching its first headset combining virtual reality and augmented reality either later this year or early 2023. For example, recently analyst Ming Chi Kuo discussed the Apple brand’s roadmap for the launch of this brand new headset product category.
According to the analyst, the EVT or engineering verification test of the helmet would take place from the third quarter of 2022. Then Apple would organize an event in January 2023 to showcase the product. And the development kits would be distributed 2-4 weeks after this event. Then pre-orders would start in Q2 2023 and the helmet would be marketed ahead of the WWDC 2023 conference (usually in June).
1st EVT from 3Q22.
2nd media event on Jan. 2023.
3. Delivery of the development toolkit within 2-4 weeks after the event.
4. Pre-order from 2Q23.
5. Hit store shelves ahead of WWDC 2023.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) June 7, 2022
An upcoming launch?
Of course, the information mentioned by Ming Chi Kuo should be treated with caution at the moment. Still, Apple does appear to be preparing to launch its first virtual reality and augmented reality headsets. This month in June, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook also dropped a hint during an interview with China Daily on the occasion of the WWDC 2022 conference.
The Chinese media reporter asked Cook what elements would make an augmented reality product a commercial success.
“I’m incredibly passionate about AR, as you may know, and the key to any technology, including AR, is to put humanity at the center. That’s what we focus on every day.”replied the CEO of Apple.
He also recalled that Apple already offers ARKit, a tool that allows developers to create augmented reality applications for iPhone and iPad, noting that ARKit is used by 14,000 applications used by millions of people.
Speaking of augmented reality technology, Cook explained that it’s still in its infancy. Then he said: “I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities in this space. Stay tuned and you will see what we have to offer. »
Tim Cook remained ambiguous, but it is certain that Apple’s CEO was referring to the future AR/VR headset that Apple is developing and which has been the talk of the media for years. This headset is rumored to combine virtual reality and augmented reality well thanks to high-resolution screens inside and cameras on the outside. It should also be high-end and work independently (no need to connect to a computer) since it would be equipped with a processor as powerful as that of a Mac.
In any case, the competition will be tough as among Apple’s main competitors in the AR/VR space will be Meta. Mark Zuckerberg’s company already has products on the market and invests a lot of money in the development of new technologies.
In 2021, Meta’s Reality Mabs division spent over $10 billion. And recently, it also showed its muscles by presenting four prototypes used in the context of researching futuristic technologies that will reach commercial products in a few years.