Don’t panic, Apple should release a mixed reality headset this year. But technical problems are forcing the tech giant to shelve plans to release lightweight augmented reality glasses. These goggles in the HoloLens line have been shelved.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Apple has postponed work on augmented reality indefinitely. And Apple is more likely targeting 2024 for the release of its mixed reality headset.
This mixed reality headset is expected to cost around $3,000. But Bloomberg reports that Apple is also planning to release a cheaper mixed reality headset, priced at around $1,500.
Augmented reality equipment is smaller and more difficult to manufacture
In December, supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimated that Apple would ship its mixed reality headset in the second half of 2023 rather than the second quarter, citing software issues as the reason.
The mixed reality concept combines elements of augmented reality and virtual reality with components such as eyeball tracking, multiple cameras, optics and lenses. Augmented reality users view the world through a lens overlaid with digital images and data. Meanwhile, virtual reality, found in headsets like Meta’s Oculus, is locking users into the digital world.
And augmented reality devices are more like traditional glasses than headsets—smaller and more difficult to manufacture.
The headset will run on an Apple Mac M2 chip.
Until recently, Apple planned to unveil the headset this month, but rescheduled the event for the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. Last year, information was leaked that Apple might introduce the headset at WWDC 2022.
Apple has filed several VR-related trademark applications, including “RealityOS”, “Reality One”, “Reality Pro”, and “Reality Processor”. It is likely that the operating system will be called xrOS and the device will be called Reality Pro. XR stands for augmented reality. Apple executives avoided the word “metaverse” out of obvious fear of notoriety.
The headset will be powered by the Apple Mac M2 chip, have at least 10 cameras outside and inside the device, and ultra-high resolution displays.
Apple has been building augmented reality features into iPhones for years, but the augmented reality headset will be a real novelty as it will be the first new category of equipment from the iPhone maker since the release of the Apple Watch in 2015.