Apple expected to announce mixed reality headset around June 5 WWDC event


Apple’s first, much-anticipated mixed reality headset is expected to be announced around June 5, 2023, when the company hosts its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in California.

There has been much industry and consumer buzz around the production of Apple’s first VR and augmented reality (AR) headset, which the company will likely hope accelerates the public’s use of the metaverse towards the mainstream. The device is expected to be a rival to the Meta Quest Pro headset, plus others such as HTC’s new Vive XR Elite headset.

Apple has not publicly confirmed the existence of its mooted headset, let alone any details of it. However, industry-watchers have revealed that it will probably be called the Reality One or Reality Pro, and will sell for a premium price of around $3,000.

Apple’s WWDC event is set to take place on June 5-9 at the company’s corporate headquarters, Apple Park, in Cupertino.

The device is expected to have both eye and hand control functions, plus external cameras to help blend VR and AR. It is also expected to have an external battery that will need to be recharged after a few hours of use.

It is expected to be designed to integrate closely with Apple’s regulated app infrastructure, raising the prospect (dare we say likelihood) that it might not be the best device to use for adult content. Bloomberg reported that expectations for the device might be to sell a million products in its first year, which would be a relatively modest sales haul by Apple’s standards.

“This isn’t going to be a hit product right out of the gate. But it could follow a similar trajectory as the Apple Watch. In terms of unit sales, the first version will look like a dud next to the company’s existing products. It’s still likely to make Apple the market leader in mixed reality within a few months, but that’s just a sign of how weak the current market is,” Mark Gurman, who covers Apple for Bloomberg, wrote.

Indeed, despite Meta spending billions on metaverse technology in the hope of it representing the ‘next generation’ of internet use after social media’s rise, VR and AR usage is still far from a mainstream home use prospect. Still, that hasn’t stopped many porn industry-watchers suggest that VR porn is likely to become a dominant content style in the industry in the near future.

Apple’s headset is expected to be designed for less racy content, offering a VR version of FaceTime video messaging, video streaming, plus 3D versions of existing Apple apps.

Related: Apple’s taking its nudity-blurring iPhone feature global with iOS 16

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Jamie F

Jamie F

Jamie is a freelance writer, contributing to outlets such as The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, CNN and Vice.

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