Apple: its next new product would be a VR headset, while waiting for augmented reality.

Apple would develop a high-end VR headset to better prepare the ground for augmented reality.

Apple is preparing for its future. In parallel with its well-known consumer products such as the iPhone, iPad, Macbook or AirPods, the firm is working on new product categories. New markets on which it could come to support its various services, and benefit from its technological know-how. If we often talk about the Apple Car among these projects, the brand is also working on the emerging market of augmented reality.
It is also perhaps a little too nascent for Apple, which obviously has problems developing a marketable product. This is what Bloomberg reports from the pen of Mark Gurman, still well known for echoing the internal work of Apple.


 According to its sources, Apple is now working on a VR headset that will act as a precursor before moving on to augmented reality. This helmet would be a niche product and with a particularly high selling price. Apple is no longer really adept at niche products, one wonders if it would not be a product exclusively for developers. Like the Mac Mini DTK which allowed developers to start working in the summer of 2020 on Mac applications in ARM.

According to Bloomberg, this helmet would first be a VR product, with a complete 3D environment allowing you to play, watch videos, and communicate, before offering some augmented reality experiences thanks to external cameras. It would benefit from a powerful processor developed by Apple. The firm has made a specialty of designing chips that are both efficient and consume little energy, which is ideal for a helmet.

Surprisingly, the article mentions that the headset would currently have a built-in fan, a sign that the processor would heat up too much for passive use. Bloomberg notes that the current prototype, N301, has reached a good stage of development, but being a simple prototype, it could still be totally revised.

Apple's augmented reality glasses, codenamed N421, are still in their infancy. Apple would still be working on the founding technologies of such a product, the possible release of which would be in the very long term.


Apple has managed to create great successes over the past 20 years. There is the iPhone of course, but we can also think of the iPad, the AirPods or even the iPod and iTunes, the predecessor of Apple Music. With these products, Apple has sometimes succeeded in revolutionizing or creating product categories, new markets where competitors compete.

When we imagine Apple embarking on VR, we can therefore wonder if the brand will outdo the giants of the sector like Oculus, HTC, Valve or PlayStation. Bloomberg sources indicate that this is not the goal of the Cupertino company. The brand would be aware of the still limited audience for this type of product, and does not imagine making it a consumer product. This also leaves one wondering about the selling price targeted by Apple, when an Oculus Quest 2 costs less than 400 euros.


Also according to the article, the virtual reality headset from Apple is currently planned for 2022. The transition to augmented reality will not happen before 2023, at best, and probably even later. Among the challenges facing Apple, the weight of the VR headset would be too great. The firm would have chosen in particular to sacrifice the adapter which allows people wearing glasses to wear the helmet. For the helmet to be used by these people, Apple would require the manufacture of special lenses, on prescription, which obviously creates problems vis-à-vis the various regulatory bodies in the world.

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