Apple headset to be delayed further – unveiling not until 2023
- Added Ming-Chi Kuo's opinion on the market launch
- Added new information from Gurman's latest newsletter
Update June 9:
In the aftermath of the WWDC keynote, supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects more delays for Apple’s headset. Kuo assumes that lockdowns in Shanghai are disrupting or have disrupted Apple’s schedule.
The analyst now expects an Engineering Validation Test (EVT) in the third quarter of 2022 and an unveiling of the headset in January 2023, with the development kit rolling out two to four weeks after the event. Apple is expected to start accepting pre-orders in the second quarter of 2023. The market launch could then also be in the second quarter before WWDC 2023.
Update June 5:
Apple headset to augment Mac display, Facetime VR in the works
Bloomberg’s Apple reporter Mark Gurman does not expect Apple to unveil its mixed reality headset at WWDC 2022. However, he expects numerous hints and further anticipates a market launch next year. A market launch in the U.S. first is possible, he added.
According to Gurman, the fact that the headset has been so long in coming is also due to the extensive software preparations that went beyond the hardware and Reality OS.
“It’s an entire set of new VR- and AR-powered Apple apps and experiences, a slew of input paradigms never seen before on the company’s products and a completely new platform for third-party developers,” Gurman writes.
Work on realityOS and related frameworks has accelerated significantly in recent months, he said, particularly on Metal, the Reality Composer and video codes. It’s no coincidence, he adds, that Apple recently released VR video and spatial audio for Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. A new version of SwiftUI for AR and VR apps is also in the works.
Gurman said the headset’s operating system emerged as a version of iOS and tvOS. Apparently, Apple wants to offer an easy way to convert iPad and Apple TV apps for the headset.
In addition, Gurman says Apple is working on its own apps, including a VR version of Facetime with face-scanning capability for realistically animated memojis, a VR version of Maps, and rOS variants of Apple apps like Notes and Calendar. The headset is also said to be able to augment a Mac’s screen and “render it in 3D.”
Article from June 4:
Jon Favreau produces dinosaur content for Apple’s headset – report
Apple is apparently also focusing on video content for its upcoming VR AR headset. Hollywood star directors are said to be already on board and producing the first content for the market launch next year.
Apple’s developer conference WWDC 2022 starts next Monday, and there have been numerous rumors in the run-up that Apple could show its VR AR headset or at least demonstrate the “Reality Operating System” for it.
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Apple headset: control via camera and voice
According to the New York Times, however, Apple will only unveil new camera and voice control features at WWDC that lay the “groundwork for a hands-free interface that customers will eventually be able to navigate on the headset.” The publication says it has access to Apple documents and is in contact with two people familiar with the project.
Apple registered patents in the past for glasses control using micro gesture or a smart ring, among other methods. Voice control via Siri is obvious and was already part of earlier rumors.
Otherwise, Apple will mainly talk about existing software and hardware at WWDC, and possibly unveil a new MacBook Air, according to the NYT. The headset will reportedly appear next year and look like ski goggles – probably similar to Meta Cambria, which will be launched later this year.
Jon Favreau producing video content for Apple headset
The NYT further reports that Hollywood director Jon Favreau is developing video content for the Apple headset. Specifically, the dinosaurs from the Apple TV+ series “Prehistoric Planet” will be brought to life with the headset.
In addition to Favreau, other Hollywood directors are said to be working on video content. Three people familiar with the project confirmed this information, according to the NYT.
Favreau as VR director is an obvious choice for Apple. He has worked on interactive VR films in the past and has repeatedly expressed his enthusiasm for VR storytelling. During the production of “The Lion King”, Favreau used VR headsets on set and filmed individual scenes with a virtual reality camera.
For high-quality video VR streaming, Apple is likely to rely on NextVR’s technology. Apple acquired the highly-touted VR streaming startup back in May 2020, when it was one of the best-funded startups in the VR industry and had streaming contracts with the NBA, among others.
However, NextVR’s business model failed to take off due to weak VR headset sales, and the stat-up ran into financial trouble. The takeover by Apple was probably the most financially attractive option. The acquisition price is said to have been $100 million, which is slightly less than the total venture capital raised of around $115 million.