Apple‘s AR/VR headset could debut as soon as this year, heating up the competition with Meta. Currently, Meta dominates the market with its Quest VR headset and the social media giant has stated that an advanced version that adds AR capabilities will arrive in 2022. Both the upcoming headsets 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 one another.
Apple has won several patents related to augmented and virtual reality systems, some of which apply to the ARKit features of the iPhone that allow, for example, virtual pieces of furniture to be tried in a room before purchase. Plenty of these documents also refer to head-mounted displays or headsets, as well as solutions that work in vehicles. Notable tipsters have shared details of Apple‘s long-term plans and Apple job listings indicate work is ongoing, yet the company continues to stay mum about the possibility of its AR/VR headset and glasses. In contrast, Meta has made it perfectly clear that the company is all in for AR and VR with plans to build a Metaverse.
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According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple’s board members were given an advance look at its AR/VR headset. If this report is accurate, it is a sign of significant progress and bodes well for an earlier release of this exciting new product category from Apple. While no new details were revealed, it appears that the headset’s overheating problem that was earlier cited as a cause of delay could have been resolved. The publication estimates that Apple’s AR/VR headset could launch within the next several months.
AR/VR Headset With MacBook-Like Performance
Apple’s solution is expected to be dramatically more powerful than current VR headsets, supposedly featuring a processor that has performance similar to recent MacBooks. Rumors suggest this first version might be priced over $2,000. It will reportedly be released as a development platform, however, there is another way to justify the cost. If the Apple AR/VR headset can replace a laptop computer, the seemingly high price is suddenly quite reasonable since the 2021 MacBook Pro starts at $1,999.
Meanwhile, Meta’s Project Cambria headset is expected to offer functionality that’s similar to a laptop, specifically, a Chromebook. Meta has said the price will be more than $800, presenting an interesting decision for AR and VR enthusiasts. Will the more expensive Apple solution be intriguing and powerful enough in its initial 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 arrive within months. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference takes place in June, a likely platform for an introduction to its AR/VR headset.