Apple’s Long-Awaited Mixed Reality Headset to Debut at Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5
Apple is set to unveil its long-awaited mixed reality headset at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5, marking the company's most ambitious launch since the iPad in 2010. While the company has not released any details about the new hardware, speculation is rife that it will feature a new operating system that will blur the line between the real and virtual worlds. Reports suggest that the headset will be the most complicated hardware product that Apple has ever created, with a curved design that increases its vulnerability to shattering compared to the flat glass screen of the iPhone, as well as a budget-busting price tag of around $3,000. The headset is expected to be aimed primarily at developers, with a consumer version set to be released in 2025 at a lower price point.
The device is rumored to feature two 4K resolution displays, one for each eye, with a pixel density of 4000 PPI, and a brightness of over 5000 nits. The headset will also be powered by Mac-quality M-series chips, with talk of an M3 chip being used in the upcoming 15-inch MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro. The new laptops are expected to be added to Apple's trade-in program, which already includes the M2 MacBook Air and the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro.
The headset's curved design has posed challenges for engineers in terms of balancing thickness, weight, and durability, as well as concerns about eye safety if broken glass becomes an issue. The front of the headset will be made of a thin piece of curved glass, requiring more than a dozen cameras and sensors to be concealed for aesthetic reasons. Apple's industrial design team has been pushing for this design, but there have been concerns about the glass warping the images captured by the cameras, which could cause nausea if left unfixed, and the material is more prone to shattering than an iPhone screen due to its shape, leading to worries about broken glass from the headset injuring users.
The upcoming mixed reality headset is expected to be a signal that the new generation of an immersive internet is about to take some of our most valuable digital experiences to the next level. It may also pave the way for a robust headset market, with wearables/glasses potentially accounting for 10% of Apple's sales by 2030. Despite the rumored price tag, the headset is generating a lot of buzz online, with many eagerly anticipating the unveiling of what could be Apple's very first mixed reality (AR/VR) headset, possibly called the Reality Pro.
0. “Apple mixed reality headset may be its most complex hardware product yet due to curved glass and bent circuitboards” 9to5Mac, 31 May. 2023, https://9to5mac.com/2023/05/31/apple-headset-curved-complexity/
1. “Apple’s AR Headset Features a Complex Design With a Curved Display and Bent Internals, Posing Threat to Durability” Wccftech, 31 May. 2023, https://wccftech.com/apple-ar-headset-design-and-durability-threat
2. “Apple Analyst Gene Munster tells clients that Apple's new XR Headset should account for 10% of Apple's Business by …” Patently Apple, 24 May. 2023, https://www.patentlyapple.com/2023/05/apple-analyst-gene-munster-tells-clients-that-apples-new-xr-headset-should-account-for-10-of-apples-business-by-2030.html