| Cult of Mac

Apple postpones AR glasses development in favor of cheaper mixed reality headset

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A virtual reality headset (not Apple's).
Apple's cheaper AR/VR headset could debut in 2024 or 2025.
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash License

Apple has indefinitely postponed development on its first AR/VR glasses. The device was supposedly going to launch a couple of years after Apple’s first mixed-reality headset’s debut, which is due to come out later this year.

Instead, the Cupertino giant is now focusing on building a cheaper version of its AR/VR headset. The device could debut in 2024 or early 2025.

Apple rebrands its mixed-reality operating system as ‘xrOS’

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Apple VR/AR headset takes big step toward production
Apple's AR/VR headset is inching closer to release.
Concept: Martin Hajek/Computer Bild

Apple reportedly changed the name of the operating system that will power its upcoming mixed-reality headset. Previously referred to as “realityOS,” Apple now calls the operating system “xrOS.”

This internal change is another sign of Apple ramping up work on the headset ahead of its official launch.

Apple is building a rival to the metaverse

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Apple VR/AR headset takes big step toward production
Apple's answer to the "metaverse" could look a lot different. (Let's hope so.)
Concept: Martin Hajek/Computer Bild

Apple job listings offer a peek into the development of the company’s long-rumored AR headset. Cupertino seemingly wants to create augmented reality and 3D content for its mixed-reality device, which could arrive in early 2023.

More importantly, one posting indicates Apple could be working on a metaverse competitor.

Apple’s cheaper AR/MR headset might arrive in 2025

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Apple VR/AR headset takes big step toward production
Wait until 2025 if you want don't want to spend a bomb on Apple's AR headset.
Concept: Martin Hajek/Computer Bild

Apple’s second-generation AR/MR headset could debut in 2025 with a more affordable price tag than the original. The company seemingly plans to launch two different variants of the headset to target consumers with different budgets.

Apple’s first-generation mixed reality headset is currently expected to launch in the first half of 2023.

Apple’s first AR/VR headset might look like ski goggles

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Apple’s first AR/VR headset might look like ski goggles
Information supposedly leaking from Apple indicates the Apple AR/VR headset will look a lot like this.
Photo: RendersByIan

A concept artist took the rumors about an upcoming Apple augmented reality and virtual reality headset and turned them into a possible design for a product that could be unveiled in 2022.

This model is undeniably bulky, but but less so than rival Oculus, Valve and Sony versions.

Forget swiping, Apple’s AR headset will react to what users are looking at

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Hololens
Microsoft's HoloLens are currently the mixed reality glasses to beat.
Photo: Microsoft

Apple’s upcoming augmented reality head-mounted display will be controlled by eye-tracking technology, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says in a note sent to clients Friday.

Instead of using hand controls, the technology will be able to detect wearers’ eye movements and blinking, then instantly compute the required information so it can be seen on the device’s micro-OLED display.

Apple’s possible prototype controller for upcoming AR headset leaks out

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apple-ar-vr-headset-controller
No, this likely isn't the final version that will ship.
Photo: MacRumors

Apple is testing out its rumored AR/VR headset internally using a generic controller similar in design to that of the HTC Vive, a report published Thursday by MacRumors suggests.

The report notes that, “given the basic design of the controller,” it is likely for internal testing only. A finished version is likely to be a lot more, well, Apple in its design. However, it’s enough to let Apple engineers get to grips with the technology which might allow it to launch its rumored AR/VR headset in 2021 or 2022.

Why Apple needs outside help to create hit products [Opinion]

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Apple’s first AR headset could launch in 2022, AR glasses in 2023
Apple may need a little help polishing its glasses
Concept: Taeyeon Kim

Recent rumors suggest that Apple is leaning on another company to help develop its highly anticipated augmented reality headset. At first, I thought that sounded crazy. Apple Glasses look set to be the company’s biggest new product launch since Apple Watch. Surely Cupertino would keep development of something that important in-house?

But when you look back over Apple’s history of joint ventures, it starts to make more sense. Apple tends to partner with third-parties in very specific circumstances — and Cupertino knows exactly what it’s doing.

Apple’s first AR headset spilled by iOS 13

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Apple’s first AR headset could launch in 2022, AR glasses in 2023
You can expect big things next year.
Concept: Taeyeon Kim

Apple is still developing its own augmented reality headset, according to code discovered in iOS 13.

Internal builds of the software include a “STARTester” app for switching in and out of a headset mode, according to a new report. It offers two modes, including “worn” and “held.”

Researchers also uncovered a text file that describes a “StarBoard” system for stereo AR apps.