As per Bloomberg News Reports, Apple is working on a VR headset that will include a fabric design, a fan, and designed to be a pricey device. The initial device has faced some developmental hurdles before. We may expect Apple’s First VR headset launch as soon as 2022 and the device is reported to work as a standalone device that will mainly operate on batteries.
Previously, Apple has been working on a combination of AR and VR wearables. That Apple VR and AR team has two main products in development. As per reports, one codenamed N421, a headset that will consist of a pair of light-weight AR glasses. And the second one, Codenamed N301, a headset that will combine the best of both AR and VR.
At that time Apple’s former design chief, Jony Ive disliked the idea of the N301 headset that requires an external device to run. Later they decided to go for a hub-less N301 headset after a months-long standoff.
Here are some interesting details about Apple’s first VR headset
Apple’s VR headset Codenamed N301
It is a virtual reality device. that will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for watching videos, communications, and gaming. Whereas, AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view of the real world will be limited in the device. Apple seems to plan the launch of the product in the near future of 2022. Going up against its rivals in the VR headset departmenT, Facebook Inc.’s Oculus and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation VR.
Apple has made its contribution in emerging consumer technology, like Smartphones, Tablets, and Smartwatches. Thus making them reliable and easy for everyone to use. But this time Apple is not looking to create an iPhone- like hit for Apple’s VR headset. Instead, Apple is looking forward to building a high-end, niche product that will prepare consumers for its more mainstream AR glasses.
Apple’s VR headset development faced challenges
Apple is planning to include some of its most advanced and powerful chips in its VR headsets along with displays that are much higher resolution than its current VR products chips. Interestingly, some of the chips tested for the VR device beat the performance of Apple’s M1 Mac processors. Also, the company is trying to include a fan in the VR headset.
Including powerful processors and the inclusion of a fan resulted in a device that was too large and also raised some concerns about neck strain for users in its early testing. Apple removed the space VR gadgets normally reserve for users who need to wear eyeglasses. Thus bringing the headset closer to the face and helped in shrinking the size. The Apple team also informed that for addressing consumers with poorer eyesight. It developed a system where the user can get a custom prescription lens that can be inserted into the headset over the VR screens.
It may lead to exposing Apple to regulations governing the sale of products with a prescription lens. However, Apple typically sells its devices in many countries. But different countries will have different prescription rules. Apple is also making future plans on how it would implement prescriptions at the time of sale whether online or in the retail store.
To further reduce the device’s weight. Apple is going to use a fabric exterior. It will be a new step because Apple uses metal designs for most of its products, though it has used fabric for the Homepod speakers for improving its acoustics.
Prototypes of the VR headset, some are about the size of an Oculus Quest, that include external cameras to enable some AR features. Also, it reported that Apple is working on hand-tracking with the help of cameras. And is working on a feature where a user can type anything virtually in the air to input text. But it is unclear whether that feature will come into the picture or not.
If Apple becomes successful with the VR headset
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said, Both VR and AR have potential. But AR is far more mainstream and also more difficult to launch. AR has a larger opportunity. Apple first introduced AR to the iPhone in 2017.
If AR headset plans move forward, It must packed with powerful and efficient electronics to overlay notifications and other information. At the same time supporting internet connectivity and providing strong battery life. Which is a very challenging technical aspect. Even Oculus which launched its first all-in-one VR headset doesn’t feature AR.
By developing a less mainstream VR headset, Apple can invest in the underlying technology, consumer education, and content development. Hopefully, it will become successful in its eventual AR glasses in the near future.
Apple’s VR headset
It is codenamed N301 is at a late prototype stage, But it is not yet finalized. Apple plans may change or be scrapped entirely before launch. The AR glasses codenamed N421 are in their early stage means architecture stage. Meaning Apple is still working towards some underlying tech. Apple has previously announced to unveil it as early as possible in 2023, but according to sources, the product may take several years.
Whereas it is not clear exactly when Apple’s VR headset will launch, or it may be as soon as 2022. It suggests that Apple’s VR headset will be more expensive than those from rival products. It may cost about $300 to $900. Apple rumored to sell only one headset per day per retail store. Which is less than 200,000 units per year.
Apple has been working on VR and AR headsets for years as per reports. Bloomberg News also published a detailed look at Apple’s VR and AR ambitions last year, saying that Apple has nearly 1,000 people working on AR and VR projects.
If rumors are accurate Apple may launch the new VR headset sooner than expected. New VR headset reported to include fabric design and a fan. The device may run on batteries powered by the most advanced chips than M1 Mac processors.