The Apple Reality will be the biggest new Apple product in years. It is Apple’s first VR glasses and promises to turn the world of virtual reality upside down in 2023. We have listed all the latest rumors and expectations for you in our dossier on the Apple Reality.
Apple Reality expectations in short
- Apple’s first VR glasses
- Rumored to be called ‘Apple Reality’, ‘Apple Reality Pro’ or ‘Apple Reality One’
- Announcement on June 5, 2023
- Lightweight headset with comfortable strap
- External battery with magnetic connector for in your pocket
- Fast M chip for high-quality graphics
- H2 chip for wireless audio through AirPods Pro
- Advanced screen technology with extremely high resolution and wide field of view
- Innovative controls with eye, expression and hand tracking
- External screen so bystanders can see your face
- xrOS operating system with App Store for VR apps and games
- Price around €2999
Apple VR glasses and AR glasses
The Apple Reality will be a headset that supports both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). You switch between the modes with a Digital Crown – a small wheel on the headset, as we already know from the Apple Watch and AirPods Max.
VR puts you in a virtual environment. The screens show a 3D world, so your real environment is completely replaced.
With AR, you can still see your real environment, using the headset’s built-in cameras – rumored to have as many as 14. The headset then adds virtual objects to this image. Think of the Ikea app on your iPhone, where you can use your camera to see how furniture would look in your room.
According to the latest rumors, the Apple Reality will have a lightweight design with extra thin lenses. Also, the battery would not be in the headset, and you would wear it loose, connected with a magnetic connector. As a result, there is little pressure on your head when you use the headset, and the glasses produce little heat.
With the current all-in-one VR headsets, such as the Oculus Quest 2 (for sale at Coolblue), you often need counterweights to compensate for the weight of the headset. That would not be necessary with the Apple Reality.
The headband is made of a soft silicone material, reminiscent of the straps of the Apple Watch. The band is expected to be available in several colors and will be replaceable. Incidentally, the Apple Reality was largely designed by Jony Ive, the longtime head of design at Apple, who until recently served as a consultant for the company.
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The Apple Reality will probably get the best VR screen yet. The display is expected to consist of two OLED screens from Sony, each with an incredibly high resolution of more than 1000 pixels per inch. This is much higher than other VR headsets, which often hover around 400 or 500 ppi. As a result, virtual objects in the distance will also remain sharp.
In addition, there may be a lower resolution OLED screen in the headset, which should fill parts of your peripheral vision. As a result, the Apple Reality covers a larger part of your field of view, and you get less of the feeling that you are looking through aviator glasses. Also nice: the lenses of the glasses are motor-driven to adapt to the distance between your eyes, so that you always have a sharp image. In addition, magnetic adapters allow you to click prescription lenses onto the glasses.
Fast Apple Silicon processor
The Apple Reality will be powered by an Apple Silicon processor. All the calculations will be performed by the headset: so you don’t have to be connected to a Mac with a cable.
Whether the chip will be an M2 or another type of chip remains to be seen. Given that the screens of the Reality have an incredibly high resolution, a lot of graphic power is needed in particular. That power is currently only provided by the M2 and M2 Pro/Max – the former is most likely to be a chip in the Apple Reality.
Eye tracking and expressions
According to rumors, the Apple Reality will have a technique that most of the competition does not yet have: eye tracking. With this, the headset knows exactly where you are looking, so that you can navigate with eye movements, for example. Eye tracking is also used to save computing power. If you look at something, it will be shown in high resolution. Everything you don’t focus on is shown in a lower resolution, which saves a lot of work for the built-in processor.
In addition to the movement of your eyes, your facial expressions are also tracked by the Apple Reality. This makes it possible to have virtual conversations, where you get an avatar (probably a Memoji) that shows your own expressions. It’s like talking to someone in a room, even though that person is on the other side of the world. The headset is also reportedly getting an iris scanner for logging in and payments with Apple Pay.
Also useful: there would be a screen on the front of the Apple Reality that can show your eyes live to the outside world. This way others do not get the feeling that they are talking with a black bar, and you remain more or less present in the room where you are.
Even more important is the headset’s hand tracking. When your hands are in the virtual world, you feel much more ‘present’. With special sensors, the headset recognizes the movement of your hands. This allows you to ‘touch’ and grab virtual objects, such as menus and a virtual keyboard. Whether Apple will also make controllers for your hands, as is the case with most VR glasses, is not yet known. According to the latest rumors, however, Apple is sticking strictly to hand tracking to make the glasses as intuitive as possible. The Apple Reality probably also has accessibility options for the blind and visually impaired.
Apple reality OS
The Apple Reality will run on ‘xrOS’, a special operating system for virtual reality. We know this because of a patent from Apple on the name ‘xrOS’ in several countries. The name of the operating system is based on ‘Mixed Reality’, known as ‘XR’, an encompassing term for Virtual and Augmented Reality.
xrOS will have access to the App Store just like macOS and iOS. This way you can easily download new apps and games for Apple Reality. Creating those apps and games will also be easy: developers can use the same Xcode programming app they already know from other Apple devices.
There will also be a lot of Apple Reality apps built in: Safari, Photos, Mail, Messages, and the Apple TV app, all with a twist. For example, you can use your Memoji in FaceTime, or read books in Virtual Reality – as if you were leafing through a paper book. There is also support for watching movies in a virtual cinema, which has been developed in collaboration with Dolby and Disney, among others. In addition, it is expected that the Apple Reality can be used as a monitor for the Mac. This way you have a large virtual screen that you can use in combination with the keyboard and mouse (or trackpad) of your Mac.
Apple Reality VR glasses: release and price
The Apple Reality release is according to the latest rumors on June 5, 2023. The announcement will be made during WWDC, Apple’s annual conference for developers. This reports the reliable Apple insider Mark Gurman. Earlier there was speculation about a spring launch, but due to hardware and software problems, this has been postponed to June. The actual date that the Apple Reality will be in stores is probably around October or November 2023.
The price of the Apple VR glasses will probably be around € 2999: quite expensive. This has to do with the advanced technology compared to the competition, the focus on a professional audience, and seven years (!) development time with a team of 1000 people. It is expected that the second generation of Apple Reality will be priced a lot more accessible.
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