Apple VR/AR headset might actually be good


Apple VR/AR headset concept by Ahmed Chenni.
This concept might be very close the VR/AR headset that Apple unveils later in 2023.
Concept: Ahmed Chenni/

Apple supposedly made great improvements in the software for its upcoming VR/AR headset recently. Someone who got a chance to test prototypes several times reportedly was “blown away” by the latest iteration, after finding earlier versions disappointing.

If true, this would help explain why Apple finally apparently stopped delaying the release of the product, which will combine virtual reality and augmented reality features.

Surprise, Apple VR/AR headset might not suck

There’s a lot of skepticism about the upcoming product. Currently, VR headsets are a niche product used mainly by gamers, though there are industrial uses, too. And reports that Apple’s headset, possibly called the Reality Pro, will cost about $3,000 surely puts a damper on the excitement among average consumers.

Still, there’s new reason for some optimism about Apple’s VR/AR headset.

Tipster Evan Blass said via Twitter:

“A person I know who’s had several opportunities to demo the upcoming first-gen 🍎XR, has gone from lamenting its ‘underwhelming’ capabilities to being ‘blown away’ by the experience that the latest hardware/firmware delivers.

“The leap they’ve made since [late last year] is giant. I was so skeptical; now I’m blown away in a ‘take my money’ kind of way.”

As positive as that sounds, keep in mind that the only people who’ve had a demo of the product so far have been Apple insiders, so the person talking to Blass isn’t an unbiased observer.

Still, Apple has a long history of taking formerly niche products mainstream. MP3 players and smartphones weren’t popular before Apple got its hands on them, to name just a couple of examples.

What we know about Reality Pro

Apple’s intent to release a VR/AR headset is an open secret. Even CEO Tim Cook couldn’t resist dropping a hint about it in 2022.

A long series of leaks revealed many details. Recently, we heard descriptions of the software that Blass’ unnamed source is so excited about. Like any Apple computer, the headset will come with an array of applications for productivity, collaboration and fun. These will be displayed to the headset wearer in augmented reality as though they were floating in front of their eyes.

As for hardware, tipsters say the device will sport three high-resolution displays, one of which will be external. It’ll be powered by a chip on par with the Apple M2 for cutting-edge performance. Many types of sensors will detect the wearer’s surroundings and their hands, and even scan their face.

Apple is expected to launch the product at WWDC23 in June, giving third-party developers their first look at the tools for coding for the operating system, reportedly called xrOS.


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