Apple's worst-kept secret, an AR/VR headset by the name of Reality Pro, is expected to make its debut at WWDC this year. At the time of writing, reports and sources familiar with the matter suggest the headset's design to be similar to a pair of ski goggles, with Apple leaning more towards comfort and ease of use than performance and battery life.
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Reality Pro will run on a new "XrOS" platform that's heavily inspired by iPadOS, expanding on familiar apps and services like internet browsing, entertainment, FaceTime, iMessage, and more. Gaming and fitness will be a focus with the new headset, too, though questions of processing power and efficiency remain up in the air.
Reports hint at the headset fielding a pair of 4K Sony-made displays for each eye and several external cameras for passthrough and hand tracking, besting the resolution quality and sensors of existing AR/VR headsets.
Naturally, high-density panels blasting at users' eyes call for some disclaimers, and Apple apparently has those ready, too. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the company may ship its upcoming AR/VR headset with some very important warnings; ones that suggest users who have experienced conditions such as Meniere's Disease, past traumatic brain injuries, vertigo, and anxiety disorders to not buy or use the reality-altering gadget.
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On its own, the Reality Pro is expected to last around two hours before needing to recharge. To help, Apple will reportedly bundle a pocketable charging pack that can be tethered to the headset. We'll have to see how practical (or messy) the concoction is when we get our hands on a review unit.
The elephant in the room with the upcoming headset is its price. $3,000 is what's expected, putting the Reality Pro in a tier well above would-be competitors like the $1,000 Meta Quest Pro and HTC Vive XR Elite.
"Early AR and VR products mostly failed to go mainstream and growth has stalled, so if Apple has a new idea for what XR is useful for and how to bring that vision to life for a segment of Apple's billion-plus customer base, that would be enormously significant for the company and the industry overall," Avi Greengart, Lead Analyst at Techsponential tells ZDNET.
Tune into WWDC on Monday to see just how Apple will justify the high cost of entry for its newest venture.