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Apple’s first headset will focus on “high-quality” games, reporter claims

Apple’s first headset will focus on “high-quality” games, reporter claims

 November 1, 2021 at 7:11 pm   |     Author:   |     Technology  

An augmented reality demo by Apple.
Enlarge / An augmented reality demo by Apple.

In the past few days, two new reports have shed light on the specifications and strategy behind Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset. Both claim that Apple is on a path to launching its first augmented reality/virtual reality headset as soon as next year and that the product will feature ultrahigh-end specifications and technologies.

Writing in his weekly Bloomberg newsletter, reporter Mark Gurman says the new headset will feature “advanced” chips, displays, and sensors and that it will have “avatar-based features.” That latter point indicates that Apple has a similar vision for how the headset could be used to that of Meta, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been declaring a vision of social interconnectedness through AR and VR experiences.

Gurman also writes that Apple’s first headset will be a mixed reality one, supporting both VR and AR applications. The long-rumored consumer AR glasses will come much later, “years down the road.” While investment has been pouring into research on AR technology, there remain numerous major technological roadblocks to mass-market consumer AR glasses, and it is unclear when all that investment might translate into a viable, mainstream product.

In the meantime, the mixed reality headset that could launch as soon as next year will offer “a mixed reality experience that can handle games in high-quality virtual reality with snappy chips and high-end displays.” It’s likely to be extremely expensive and may only be accessible to well-off tech enthusiasts as well as developers who will begin the work of making the first applications for a future consumer app ecosystem.

Meanwhile, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a report to investors that also claims Apple plans to introduce a high-tech, pricey mixed reality headset in 2022. He wrote that Facebook and Sony will release their own mixed reality headsets in the same year but that Sony’s at least will be a VR, not an AR, headset, as a successor to the highly successful PlayStation VR peripheral for the company’s gaming consoles.

He also gets a little bit specific about one key spec for Apple’s headset: it will support the cutting edge wireless networking standard Wi-Fi 6E, he wrote. He also claimed that Sony and Meta’s headsets will support the same standard.

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