Rumors about Apple’s virtual reality/mixed reality headset, dubbed the Apple Reality Pro, suggest that it will be announced in June, likely at Apple’s own WWDC event. While the headset isn’t even confirmed to exist, some people are seemingly already hands-on (should that be heads-on?) and praising it.
Oculus VR founder, Palmer Luckey, is seemingly one of those lucky (pardon the pun) few to have used the headset. In a Tweet he simply stated “The Apple headset is so good.” Considering his time at Oculus (now owned by Meta) he’s clearly one to know quality, an exciting omen. According to the Wall Street Journal, others who have used the device have been impressed too with it reportedly offering “greater levels of performance and immersion.” than competitors.
At the rumoured $3000 launch price, Apple is definitely targeting the premium end of the market, so it will have to push the boat out with its effort. By offering both virtual reality and mixed reality, Apple wants the headset to be used not for gaming and immersive experiences but also for productivity purposes. If it can match the PSVR2 for gaming performance and groundbreaking eye-tracking and also become as essential as an iPhone, Apple could be on to a winner.
There was talk of Apple developing some AR smart glasses which many believe would be the way to go – but there are conflicting reports about the cancellation of the project. As a whole, VR has seemed to many to be a gimmick, best left to those obsessed with the Metaverse or for gaming. AR definitely seems like the less intrusive option (especially the version I tried).
With its headset launch Apple needs to show us something that we can’t live without, something that makes VR essential to the public, not just those who already love VR. While the price point is seemingly prohibitive, if anyone is going to have an “iPhone moment” then it will likely be the folks from Cupertino.