According to Bloomberg, Apple may delay the launch of its first mixed reality headset.
Multiple sources had previously claimed the device would likely launch in 2022, and Apple looked poised to introduce its new mixed reality platform to developers at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.
But according to “people familiar with the situation” with whom Bloomberg reporters Mark Gurman, Takashi Mochizuki and Debby Wu spoke, the announcement of the new headset could fall until “late 2022 or later, with the product on shelves by 2023. .”
The delays are said to be due to “overheating, cameras and software” issues. Similar challenges have also reportedly delayed the headset’s launch from an initial target for 2021.
Note that this product is not the long-rumored mass-market AR goggles, which are planned for several more years. Rather, this is a mixed reality headset (suitable for both virtual and augmented reality) that is expected to cost at least $2,000.
Previous reports have claimed that the device will have 4K or 8K displays, high-quality external cameras, numerous sensors and multiple chips, at least one of which could be similar to the M1, if not the M1 Pro, in recent Mac computers. While the headset may be popular with some consumers, it will likely serve as a development platform to lay the groundwork for future more affordable consumer headsets.
The product’s name isn’t yet publicly known (if it’s been decided at all), but Bloomberg’s Gurman speculates it could be called Apple Vision or Apple Reality.
The rumors about AR goggles are more promising as a major new computing platform to track the smartphone than expensive niche VR goggles. But it could be years before several remaining technological and optical barriers to the production of that future product are resolved, if at all.
Of course, Apple won’t be the first company to introduce a VR, AR or mixed reality headset. They’ve been around in various forms for decades, but Oculus, owned by Meta, achieved what can be described as the first mainstream success for VR, alongside Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform and hardcore gamers-focused headsets that use the SteamVR. platform, such as the HTC Vive.
As the technology is more in its infancy, AR glasses have been slower to hit the market, but there are some from companies like Snap. However, these devices have had major limitations to date, such as impractically small fields of view or battery life measured in minutes rather than hours.