Apple’s AR/VR headset could debut sooner than thought

Apple’s AR/VR headset could launch in 2022, posing a challenge for Meta, which is also expected to release its Project Cambria headset this year.

of Apple AR/VR headsets could debut as early as this year, heating up the competition with Meta. Meta currently dominates the market with its Quest VR headset and the social media giant has stated that an advanced version adding AR capabilities will arrive in 2022. The upcoming headphones are expected to be significantly more powerful and more expensive than current offerings and it will be very interesting to see how they stack up against each other.

Apple has won several patents related to virtual and augmented reality systems, some of which apply to the iPhone’s ARKit features that let you, for example, try out virtual furniture in a room before you buy it. Many of these documents also refer to head-mounted displays or headsets, as well as solutions that work in vehicles. Notable insiders have shared details of Apple’s long-term plans and Apple’s job listings indicate work is ongoing, yet the company remains silent on the possibility of its AR/VR headset and goggles. On the contrary, Meta has made it perfectly clear that the company is interested in AR and VR with plans to build a Metaverse.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple’s board members were given an early look at its AR/VR headset. If this report is accurate, it’s a sign of significant progress and bodes well for an earlier release of this exciting new category of Apple products. While no new details were revealed, it appears that the headphone overheating issue previously cited as a cause of the delay may have been resolved. The publication estimates that Apple’s AR/VR headset could launch in the coming months.

AR/VR headset with MacBook-like performance

What the Project.5 VR headset demo reveals

Apple’s solution is expected to be dramatically more powerful than current VR headsets, reportedly with a processor that has similar performance to recent MacBooks. Rumors suggest that this first version could cost more than $2,000. It will reportedly be released as a development platform, however there is another way to justify the cost. If Apple AR/VR headsets can replace a laptop, the seemingly high price is suddenly quite reasonable as the 2021 MacBook Pro starts at $1,999.

Meanwhile, Meta’s Project Cambria headphones are expected to offer laptop-like functionality, specifically, a Chromebook. Meta has said that the price will be over $800, which presents an interesting decision for AR and VR enthusiasts. Will Apple’s pricier solution be intriguing and powerful enough in its early form to justify the higher cost, or will Meta’s well-established but less powerful headset win the day and send Apple back to the drawing board? The answer could come in a few months. AppleThe World Developers Conference is taking place in June, a likely platform for a showcase of its AR/VR headset.

Source: Bloomberg

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