According to Bloomberg, Apple’s board of directors reviewed its mixed-reality headset last week, suggesting that Apple’s next major new product category may be released soon.
For Apple, the launch of a new exciting product category could open up new markets and potentially recreate what has changed in the world, the advent of the iPhone in 2007. But if its headset is poorly received, it could rekindle concerns about Apple’s vision and performance.
The last major new category of Apple products was the Apple Watch, which was previewed in the fall of 2014 and released in 2015.
Bloomberg describes the device as a mixed-reality headset, explaining that it will use cameras on an external device to transmit images of the outside world on a high-resolution display on the inside of a virtual reality headset, a technique called “pass-through” augmented reality.
The augmented reality feature shows the finished Apple Park at the Apple Park Visitor Center on November 17, 2017 in Cupertino, California.
Amy Osborne | AFP | Getty Images
Industrial observers believe that the ultimate augmented reality device will use clear lenses and will approach the weight of a pair of conventional glasses, but the underlying technology is not yet ready.
Questions remain about how much the headset will cost and what it will do. In some reports, its potential retail price is about $ 3,000, which will be twice as expensive as the new iPhone model, and could limit its sales. Apple will release augmented reality versions of its iPhone headset apps, according to Bloomberg.
Apple is not the only technology giant fighting for a mixed reality headset. Last week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg reviewed a virtual reality headset he calls “Project Cambria,” which will have transient augmented reality. Currently, Meta is also selling a $ 300 virtual reality headset called Quest. Last week, Google released a prototype of smart glasses that translates foreign languages in real time.
Apple has never confirmed that it is developing a headset, but it has hired thousands of employees in a division called Technology Design Group, which works on virtual and augmented reality technologies. So far, Apple has publicly released iPhone software called ARkit, which allows apps to overlay real-world digital images via the iPhone camera.
Virtually next month, Apple is holding an annual developer conference called WWDC with a keynote report that often includes announcements of new products. Apple is also launching new iPhones in the fall.
An Apple spokesman declined to comment.