Apple VR/AR headset takes big step toward production

Apple VR/AR headset takes big step toward production

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Apple VR/AR headset takes big step toward production
The Apple VR/AR headset might look something like this concept when it finally gets released.
Concept: Martin Hajek/Computer Bild

Apple is reportedly doing engineering validation tests on its much-rumored VR/AR headset. This is an important milestone in moving the product out of the lab and into production.

The device — which supposedly will offer both virtual reality and augmented reality capabilities — is expected to be unveiled later this year.

Apple VR/AR headset is almost out of the lab

Digitimes said Monday that “Apple has reportedly conducted its second-phase engineering validation and testing (EVT 2) for its first AR headset.” Engineering validation testing involves producing and evaluating units that look and function as much like the final device as possible, using the final materials.

Companies typically test versions with different configurations, looking for the best option. The goal of the EVT is to settle on a final design that not only works but that can be manufactured in the necessary quantities. The next step is production testing to look for problems in manufacturing the device. Then full production.

Digitimes has a 60.8% accuracy rate for correctly predicting future Apple moves, according to AppleTrack. That makes it worth paying attention to but not counting on.

More about Apple’s virtual reality/augmented reality headset

Rumors of an Apple VR/AR headset began circulating years ago. At this point, the main question is, “When will it be released?”

Apple could unveil the headset as early as June at the Worldwide Developers Conference, with the device reaching customers later in the year. But a recent report said the unveiling will happen later in 2022, with the launch delayed until 2023. News that the product supposedly entered EVT doesn’t settle the question one way or the other.

When released, the first Apple VR/AR headset supposedly will benefit from a top-tier feature set. Tipsters say it will pack three high-res displays, with a chip on par with the Apple M1 powering its performance. Many types of sensors will detect the wearer’s surroundings and body motions. And all this will go into a device without as much bulk as its rivals.

The Apple headset supposedly will offer virtual reality and augmented reality. AR overlays computer-generated images or text onto the real world. It’s different from virtual reality, which completely replaces the real world.

The high-end feature set reportedly will mean the headset comes with an equally high-end price.