One is an AR/VR headset that could be announced next year, the other is a pair of AR glasses launching sometime in 2023.
Apple has been rumoured to be working on augmented reality and virtual reality headsets for years now, though very little is known about the project. The latest report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, however, tries to explain what Apple is working on at its secret labs.
Bloomberg said Apple’s AR/VR team is led by Mike Rockwell. Gurman says Rockwell’s team has been working on two products for quite some time. One is an AR/VR headset that could be announced next year, the other is a pair of AR glasses launching sometime in 2023.
The first product, codenamed ‘N301’, combines AR and VR technologies together. The report suggests the N301 was said to be a powerful headset with superior graphics and processing speeds. But the hardware produced too much heat. Essentially, Apple’s engineers could fit extremely powerful hardware inside a lightweight, standalone headset.
Given the technical challenges, Rockwell’s team then came up with an idea to power the headset through an external device. Jony Ive, Apple’s former design chief, reportedly didn’t like the idea of having a VR/AR headset that’s entirely dependent on an external device for processing. Apparently, there were a lot of disagreements over this idea within Apple.
In its current form, the N301 is a less powerful but still pretty capable headset with a high-resolution VR display and a “cinematic speaker system” that aims to help combine the real and virtual world. It’s being reported that the N301 resembles the Oculus Quest complete with a mostly fabric body. It will reportedly have its own App Store and Siri support.
The next device Apple is currently working is a lightweight pair of glasses, internally known as N421. However, the device won’t get released before 2023. This piece of information is in contract with what YouTuber John Prosser has been saying about the rumoured Apple Glasses. Bloomberg says the AR glasses will arrive in 2023 ‘at the earliest’, whereas Prosser claims Apple Glass could be announced this year, with a public release next year. Apple’s AR glasses could cost $499.