Report: Apple’s mixed reality headset is just a few months away

Report: Apple’s mixed reality headset is just a few months away

Enlarge / The “Sword of Damocles” head-mounted display, the original augmented reality headset, circa 1968.

Ivan Sutherland

Apple is wrapping up development of its long-rumored, long-delayed mixed reality headset, and is gearing up for a launch as soon as early next year, according to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman’s weekly newsletter.

Recent job listings posted by Apple suggest that the company is looking to fill content creation roles for the device, suggesting that the core technology is set enough that developers, producers, artists, and the like work confidently with it. That’s in contrast to the product’s state not that long ago, when differing opinions about the product’s feature set, specs, and design led to shifting goalposts that would have been a headache for content creators.

Among those content creation roles is at least one that would focus on “the development of a 3D mixed-reality world,” not dissimilar in some respects to Meta’s Horizon Worlds. But while Horizon Worlds’ spaces exist entirely in VR, an Apple job listing describes “connected experiences in a 3D mixed-reality world,” suggesting that augmented reality may also play apart.

The newsletter speculates, based on some of the job listings, that Apple plans to introduce a video service for the headset, building off of the company’s prior acquisition of NextVR. Additionally, Apple moved key staff to the mixed reality product team, including a former self-driving car staffer and a senior engineer.

Gurman also recapped many of the things already leaked or reported by him, The Information, and other credible sources: The headset will have more than 10 cameras across both the inside and the outside; it will have “the highest-resolution displays ever featured in a mass-market headset”; and it will run a new operating system called realityOS, which will include mixed reality versions of Messages, Maps, FaceTime, and other apps.

He also says it will be called either “Reality Pro” or “Reality One” and that it will cost between $2,000 and $3,000—much more expensive than most consumer VR headsets. The newsletter didn’t name a more specific release window than “next year,” but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the device could be announced as soon as January with a launch in time for Apple’s June developer conference. DigiTimes previously reported Apple might begin production in March.

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