While Apple announced all its new upgrades for all its operating systems across iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, and the Macs at the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on June 6, there was not a word mentioned about the new realityOS. Now, realityOS is what is going to power Apple’s mixed reality headset that should launch sometime next year.
Developers were expecting Apple to share some information, at least, during the keynote address. Given the absolute silence, analysts and developers will now be “scouring between the lines for any hints about how a future mixed-reality headset might work”.
Apple’s AR/VR headset, as per reports, might use cameras to create a view of the real world in high-resolution display that can overlay digital objects on physical surroundings. This headset is expected to show up around March next year, according to Anshel Sag, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.
This would mark Apple’s entry into a new category of computing device since the Apple Watch that launched in 2015. And the headset would have Apple directly taking on Meta, which is also working on a mixed-reality headset codenamed Cambria. Meta’s Cambria is expected to launch this year.
What analysts and developers will be on the lookout for now, as WWDC progresses, are the improvements in “how Apple’s devices process augmented reality scenes”. Andrew McHugh, co-founder of an app called Vivid, told Reuters that developers “will be on the lookout for small surprises in so-called ‘spatial’ features in which devices understand how they are being used in three-dimensional space”. Vivid is an app that lets users virtually step inside their videos and photos. Apple already has some spatial features in use on its AirPods, called spatial audio, where the soundscape changes when users turn their heads.
Additionally, on the headset front, Apple has reportedly already started working on a content library for it. Reports suggest that Apple has been working with some big Hollywood names to create content, including the likes of Jon Favreau. Favreau’s Prehistoric Plant might be one of the first series’ for the new headset.
So, for now, we wait. And let the developers and analysts find some details for us that might predict how Apple is planning things out for the AR/VR device via the tools it rolls out to devs for app development. A source told NYT that Apple is reportedly having issues with the headset’s battery life and performance and some employees involved with the device’s development have “left the company over the implications the headset would have in the future on personal relationships”.
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