Apple First VR/AR Foray to be Pricey, Niche Headset

Apple is working on augmented reality glasses to ship in 2020

Apple’s first entry into the world of AR and VR headsets is going to be pricey and aimed at a niche audience, Bloomberg News reported. The company will then follow up on this VR-focussed initial offering with a more mainstream set of AR glasses.

Apple VR Headset Precursor to AR Glasses

Apple is aiming to launch the initial VR device as early as 2022. It will have a display for an immersive experience to be used for things like gaming, consuming video, and communications. Apple is working for this device to include its top-end chips as well as displays that have a far higher resolution than those offered by competitors. However, this headset will likely be far more expensive than direct rivals too, with the expectation reportedly being of annual sales of around 180,000.

The inclusion of a fan and powerful processors meant that the original design was too large and too heavy. Apple has now removed the space that other VR headsets create for those who wear eyeglasses. It is thought to have developed a system whereby prescription lenses can be inserted into the device, but this could lead to regulatory and distribution issues. The company is also planning to use a fabric exterior to help reduce the weight. Furthermore, there are discussions about the operating system and content for such a headset, with the possibility of an operating system with an App Store, nicknamed ‘rOS’, reportedly being looked at.

[Sir Jony Ive Changed Apple’s Approach to AR and VR]

This VR headset has the codename N301. It is understood to be in the late prototype phase, but not finalized. The more mainstream-focussed AR glasses are at a much earlier stage of the development process and may still be several years away.

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