While long-rumored, new details have surfaced that Apple is planning to produce a high-end VR headset that could come as soon as 2022.
With VR headsets having been available to consumers for several years now, the small (but growing) market of VR development has established several big players like Oculus, HTC, and Valve. However, according to recent reports, Apple is potentially the next tech giant looking to carve out a space in VR with new details on the company’s long-rumored VR headset.
Bloomberg has reported that Apple is currently developing its own VR headset, with initial details giving a clearer picture of what to expect from the company’s first VR-capable device. According to Bloomberg, Apple is aiming for its debut VR headset to be “a pricey, niche precursor to a more ambitious augmented reality product” to release further down the line.
BREAKING: Apple's first headset will focus on virtual reality, include powerful processors, and is designed as a niche precursor to eventual augmented reality glasses https://t.co/ZZLxrWtSoh pic.twitter.com/d7r1CsIY25— Bloomberg Technology (@technology) January 21, 2021
While Apple has been rumored to be making a VR headset for some time, Bloomberg‘s report details that the project has faced “several development hurdles,” with Apple aiming the device to release potentially as soon as 2022. Bloomberg noted that Apple’s VR headset is intended as a competitor to other VR headsets like the Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, and Valve Index, though it will reportedly be “far more expensive” than the usual price range for most VR headsets currently on the market.
So far, the first details on Apple’s VR headset explain that the device will offer “an all-encompassing 3D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating.” As for the physical design of the headset, it is reported that the headset will feature a fabric exterior (to reduce the headset’s weight) and incorporate a fan for cooling the internal components, which breaks from Apple’s traditional fan-less product designs. Additionally, it was also reported that the headset is expected to feature limited AR capabilities, hand-tracking, and some extra features like being able to type on a virtual keyboard, though some of these features are experimental or in a prototype stage. The company is also planning a separate AR-focused device that will likely be targeted towards a more mainstream audience, versus the higher-end VR headset that appears to be in development.
At the moment there aren’t a ton of concrete details yet for when we can expect Apple to jump into the VR market, but the company has shown interest in the space for some time. The clearest sign of this intention came from Apple’s acquisition of NextVR last year, which shows that the company is likely bolstering its development efforts to pursue VR more aggressively.
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