Well, we just got a ton of new information on Apple's upcoming virtual reality headset.
As reported by Bloomberg, the company's Reality Pro headset is expected to be the most powerful VR headset created yet. According to Mark Gurman, who penned the report, Apple is looking to base the interface of the headset largely on iOS. People familiar with the project say that "the eye- and hand-tracking capabilities will be a major selling point for the device."
Apparently, one of the big focuses of the headset at launch will be its video conferencing features, something that Meta has attempted and failed to gain steam with for its Meta Quest Pro headset. Apple's headset is expected to feature what is being described as "advanced FaceTime-based videoconferencing and meeting rooms."
The report says that "the headset’s FaceTime software will realistically render a user’s face and full body in virtual reality. Those avatars will allow two people — each with an Apple headset — to communicate and feel like they’re in the same room. The technology differs from virtual meeting rooms on Meta’s headset, which creates a more cartoon-like avatar of the user."
Gurman does say that this level of immersion will be limited to one-on-one FaceTime calls and that group calls will use Memojis.
The headset will switch between VR and AR
In addition to enabling some incredible FaceTime experiences, Gurman says that the headset is expected to support both virtual and augmented reality.
According to the report, "the device will have a so-called Digital Crown — like the Apple Watch — that lets users switch between VR and AR. When in VR, the wearer is fully immersed. When AR is enabled, the content fades back and becomes surrounded by the user’s real environment."
While Meta's headsets support a very basic version of augmented reality, the Quest version is mostly used to gain your bearings for the purpose of setting up the virtual reality experience. Apple seems to be ready to take things to the next level of immersion for both experiences, something developers will surely go nuts with.
While the rumored Reality Pro headset sounds like a beast, most users are sure to be turned off by the expected $3000 price tag. Apple is apparently projecting to sell about one million units in the first year and, to everyone's liking, planning to release a cheaper version in 2024 or 2025 for around $1500, the same price that the Meta Quest Pro currently goes for.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.