Apple job postings and positions hint at headset features
We expect Apple's first headset for 2023. Job postings and personnel changes give hints about possible apps.
Rumors about Apple's first headset have been piling up since 2021. According to Apple leaker Mark Gurman and supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the first hardware iteration will appear next year. That is, assuming Apple does not postpone the market launch again. The latest report assumes mass production starts in March 2023 with an expected unveiling in April.
The mixed reality headset could be called "Apple Reality Pro" - a high-end product costing between $2,000 and $3,000, according to Gurman. Gurman expects more than ten sensors, an M2 chip, and the highest-resolution display ever incorporated into a mass-market headset.
The supposed headset runs on "realityOS", offering mixed reality versions of key Apple apps such as Messages, FaceTime, and Maps, he said. The first version of realityOS, called "Oak," is being finalized for the headset's launch next year, he said. Gurman also reported that a cheaper successor to the Reality Pro aimed at end users is also in development.
3D worlds and VR streaming
We already know quite a lot about the technology of the mixed reality headset. What is less clear is what kind of hardware-specific apps Apple pushes for the headset. For Bloomberg, Gurman now reports job postings and personnel changes that give clues about the upcoming app offering.
Among other things, Apple is looking for a professional to develop "tools and frameworks to enable connected experiences in a 3D mixed-reality world" - a kind of metaverse. It's a term Apple intentionally avoids. The candidates would solve "incredibly challenging and interesting problems in the 3D application space," the job posting reads.
Apple also seeks professionals specializing in AR and VR content development and developer tools in those areas and who have experience streaming immersive video. The job openings are timely, as Meta recently laid off 11,000 professionals, including many with years of VR and AR experience.
Other app focus areas: health and productivity
Gurman also reports that two new managers of distinction steer the 3,000-person headset department. The first is Dave Scott, who worked on the Apple Car and in the medical and robotics industries. His involvement points to health applications for the mixed reality headset, Gurman says.
The second executive is Apple veteran and chief technology officer Yaniv Gur, whose previous roles include developing the iWork apps Pages, Numbers, and Keynote - Apple's alternatives to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Gurman predicts Gur developing productivity apps for the headset.
Competitor Meta already has a mixed reality headset on the market with Quest Pro (info), designed for productivity but largely lacking suitable apps. A partnership with Microsoft supposedly remedies this in 2023 and brings Windows apps to Meta's Quest 2 and Quest Pro.