Apple has been running after virtual reality technology for nearly a decade now, anticipating a commercially profitable commodity to announce that completely reforms the strategy of how people interact with their devices in more ways than one. Apple had decided to inaugurate the Apple Virtual Reality Headset in 2020, but it postponed because the model did not stand the specifications set by Apple – essentially due to its heavier size.
Now the recent report has uncovered that the Apple Virtual Reality Headset is most probably going to be launched by 2022. The prevailing design of the VR headset is the main target of the company since hundreds and thousands of people are working on its design along with the glasses design. It genuinely exhibits the company’s commitment to its dream monster project of VR headset and that they are determined to use all the resources to complete it.
The Bloomberg report says that confidants of Apple disclosed that the Apple Virtual Reality Headset will be used in several activities just as gaming, communicating, and videos.
VR Headset in Nutshell
Both Bloomberg and The Information came forward with their reports which state that Apple is working day and night on the innovation of VR headset along with the smart glasses, with the former to be launched first followed by the latter.
The headset is reported to have the attributes of Facebook’s Oculus Quest virtual reality headset, though with a cleaner and sleeker design by the use of fabrics and other lightweight elements. It guarantees the headset is going to be soft and cozy to wear.
Early rumors in 2018 from CNET disclosed that the new that Apple is working in full swing for a powerful headset design having an 8k display and every eye that will be un-lashed from a computer or a phone device would able to function with both augmented reality and virtual reality applications.
N301 – The pseudonym for the Apple Virtual Reality Headset
Apple has chosen a secret name for its VR headset that is N301, and confidentially working on its development. According to the resources, the VR headset will be a much pricier technology in comparison with HTC Vive, Oculus Quest, and the PlayStation VR. Rumors have been circulating that the battery-conducted Apple headset will be somewhat bulkier than its predecessors, and likewise would cost – around $300 to $900. The cost is higher than its direct competitor technologies.
The report also reveals that the company intends to sell about 180,000 units in a year – alone one in a day in all of its outlets (over 500 Apple retail stores altogether). So, as a matter of course, the cost is good enough to be $1000 – $1,500 if the company copes up to keep the manufacturing cost low. Anyhow, a price label of $2,000 will not be an alien price in an optimum situation from the consumer’s viewpoint.
Apple Virtual Reality Headset Processor
The main processor of the Apple Virtual Reality Headset is destined to be strong and the best powerful processor that the company has ever manufactured so far. It has been circulating in the rumors that the processor is so dynamic and strong that it will surpass the M1 Apple Silicon processor operating the new generation MacBook Air plus MacBook Pro.
The VR headset could possess the most dominant processor employed in commercial technologies, indeed more than what the current generation of VR headsets similar to Oculus Quest can give. It will be the only thing to remain vigilant with; just as the modification in the processor development comes into play with the universally used commercial products similar to smartphones and MacBooks.
Apple Virtual Reality Headset Design
Apple Virtual Reality Headset will have two 8k displays with high-resolution. It will also possess two eye-detecting cameras that will allow people to detect other people standing before and after the virtual objects. The headset may also able to measure the dimensions of the room, portray surfaces and, edges with higher precision than the current technologies in the market. The headset will probably possess a LIDAR sensor which was used recently in Apple iPhones 12 and 12 Pro smartphones.
The addition of 8K displays in the VR headset takes the Apple technology ahead of its time, and will probably win the competition as long as the resolution is concerned.
The main target of the VR headset is to introduce an application of virtual reality with restricted proficiency to cover 3D visuals in the original world view – mixed reality to be defined. To turn this dream into a reality, the Apple VR headset will probably have external cameras to record hand movements. As far as software is concerned, it will bring incompetence as a virtual keyboard that may connect to the multitude of applications.
An earlier investigation also reported that the headset will acquire both the augmented reality and virtual reality automation which makes it a mixed reality device. It is also predicted to be supplied with more than 12 cameras for detecting hand movements besides cameras for seeing a virtual world. The design will shut off the external vision to avoid light from escaping into the user’s field of view. The display might also possess an outwardly-faced brim into the display itself so that the user can also share graphics with other peers.
Apple is trying to work on various control methods which include a wearable cupped-like device. Users may able to wear this device on their fingers. The device may also be able to react to the user’s eye movements along with hand actions. One of the headset prototypes also supports a physical dial which will be located on a side of the visor. Moreover, Apple is working to inculcate Siri into the headset.
The initial models of the VR headset explain that the earlier hardware was pretty massive, and resulted in neck strain which spoilt the whole prospect of usefulness. So now the innovation mainly targets compressing the heaviness of the processing hardware, or possibly making it a two-part system. Where one of them will be the headset that can be wearable while the other part powering the strong processing hardware.
Apple will construct its headset in such a way that it will stay closer to the face of the user, which will also reduce the size of the device, but cancels out the space required for the people who wear glasses along with a VR headset. Apple has found one solution for this and is working on a system where users can put the customized prescribed lens into their VR headset. Anyhow, the Prescription lens will put Apple at the stake of an additional governmental law.
Most probably Apple will use a fabric material for the exterior of the Apple Virtual Reality Headset to maintain the low weight suitable for continued use. The professionals have unveiled that Apple is going to employ a built-in fan in the headset to maintain the temperature range, and not to get the headset heated-up if used in long run. A queer clue provided that the company gave the highest degree of importance to fan-less design in its recent products.
Apple Glasses a noble predecessor
Pseudo named as N421 – the AR model will be the AR glasses for the time being in the initial phase (Pre-prototyping) familiar with the architecture phase, more identical with the blueprint development. The AR perception is inclusive of many difficulties of both technologies, provided the finite space and weight restrictions of the glasses.
The reasonable progress, hence, is to first display the VR headset in the search market, grab worthy appreciation on the hardware and software side, and then, therefore, work for the ultimate model of the AR glasses. These glasses will fit in all the technologies adjusted from the VR headset and operate them for many logical applications from the consumer-end experience and a feasible utility.
Some Other Rumors
In its probe for the innovation of VR/AR hardware, Apple has secretly relied on other companies who are masters in this specific domain. The interest of Vrvana that introduced a headset of mixed reality in 2017 – labeled as Totem. Apple has also retrieved from Akonia Holographics skilled in producing AR smart glasses, at almost the same time as the Vrvana procurement.
In the retro back, Apple purchased the Israeli-located 3D body sensing substantial PrimeSense in 2013, aligned with its bigger strategy of things. Apple’s most recent investment took place in 2020 when they happened to purchase Spaces – a brand initiated from DreamWorks Animation- and the other skilled one that had a common VR experience. Different considerable procurement in a similar domain includes FaceShift, Emotient, Metaio, Camerai, FlyBY Media, and RealFace.
Software leaks for iOS 14
Some images and codes fetch the information that further confirms the iOS 14 operation in VR headset. A picture was found that showcases a whole generic controller outlook for a headset that is the same as the HTC Vive Focus headset design. Apple has been following HTC Vive hardware for private testing.
Apple is also testing its AR technology with an iOS 14 application known as the Gobi with QR codes to get the know-how in the augmented reality. Either of these experiences is a game set off at a particular crosswalk in California.
All Could Go in Vain If
Apple VR headset is presently in the prototype phase and the Apple Glasses in its initial time. If the ultimate product fails to meet the quality standards specified in the reports, it could all go in vain. In an all-out case, both of the technologies could get easily tossed out. Alternatively, it will take a long time to advertise the VR/AR technologies – as engineers and designers double-check that everything works very well, in the light of the technology and its accessories are proved to be as complicated a task as it can be.
It looks like Apple is hard-pressed about its first-ever VR headset, however according to the report, the device will be the first of its kind and the premium headset. The introduction of the VR headset will open the way to a more user-friendly AR headset next.
The Apple VR headset will presumably be pricier than its competitor VR headset in the market. Apple may sell only one headset in a day from each retail store. Apple has deliberately adopted this approach as it proceeds to work in consumer-friendly AR glasses.
In the case that VR headset and AR Glasses do not comply with the standard quality accomplishment; Apple will impeccably want to place the technological innovation to some other operation. It could practically turn into a whole genre of bold devices that utilize VR/AR to work in a commercially useful way. It will be pretty intriguing to see what more developments Apple will do in this story-line for the upcoming years.
Masab Farooque is a Tech Geek, Writer, and Founder at The Panther Tech. He is also a lead game developer at 10StaticStudios.
When he is not writing, he is mostly playing video games