Apple reportedly working on three XR headsets – Reality Pro to come first
Apple is said to have three headset projects in the works. This could speak for a long-term market plan on Apple’s part.
The first headset will probably be called “Apple Reality Pro”, as Apple reporter Mark Gurman reports. This is the device that has long been codenamed N301 and is expected to launch early next year.
Like Meta’s Quest Pro or Pico Neo 4 Pro, Apple Reality Pro will focus on mixed reality applications with video AR and will most likely also offer a pure VR mode.
Apple is already working on Reality Pro 2
Under the codename “N602”, Apple is already working on a successor to the Reality Pro, which could be launched at a lower price, Gurman writes. The successor device, which could be called “Apple Reality One” according to Gurman, is supposed to be cheaper. LG, Samsung Display and Sony are reportedly competing for the role as OLED display suppliers.
Reality Pro is expected to be a high-end, high-priced device for which Apple has low sales expectations, according to earlier rumors. Apple will likely use it for market entry, integration into its ecosystem, and building a good app base.
Apple Reality Pro and its successor are expected to look much slimmer than previous VR headsets thanks to so-called pancake lenses, which are particularly flat, but, in the nature of technology, they will still be a bar in the face.
A sleek AR headset from Apple is still years away from launch
Those willing to wait for a useful and stylish pair of tech glasses will have to continue to be patient, according to Gurman: Apple’s Project N421, a slim, AR-only headset, is said to be years away from launch.
The challenge here is primarily physics – waste heat and the limitations of optical systems make it difficult to build slim data glasses. Meta also recently had to postpone plans for a slim AR headset by about two years and currently continues to rely on Quest-style headsets.
Gurman has discovered another brand name patented by an Apple shell company, “Optica.” The name could stand for a feature of the optical system, such as interchangeable lenses for people with low vision, or it could be for a future device, Gurman says.
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