Last year, rumors about Apple’s AR/VR device suggested we could expect an early 2023 launch. Then, plans were reportedly moved to the spring, and now it looks like we won’t learn the first details about Project Reality until the summer. But the timing is opportune, WWDC, Apple’s annual conference for software developers, where the company usually unveils its new operating systems as well as new hardware innovations.
WWDC will be the stage on which Apple unveils its first VR device
Three years ago at WWDC, Apple unveiled the first steps towards Apple Silicon, the ARM architecture processors found in most of the company’s computers today. They have proven their performance and efficiency and have quickly made the company’s computers some of the most competitive in price/performance ratio, especially in the professional area.
Now Apple is expected to unveil its first virtual reality device on the same stage, a device that should mark the beginning of a new era of mobile devices. Apple plans to offer the technology in a compact device the size of a pair of glasses within the next few years. But until then, Reality One or Reality Pro, names suggested by “leaks”, could give users a first taste of this new direction in mobile.
WWDC could be the perfect stage for a new VR device, as it will be the focus of many software developers here. Apple will most likely showcase VR/AR software alongside the hardware itself, and put the tools needed to develop new apps in the hands of developers. Apple already has an AR Kit, compatible with iPhone, iPad and macOS, which could be the basis of the new software, which would allow developers to not exactly start from scratch with new compatible apps and video games.
The price of this new device could be a tough one to justify for many Apple fans
Of course, unveiling the device at WWDC would only be the first step. An official release to the public might not follow until the fall. However, it’s unclear whether Apple really wants to sell this device, given that the first generation could cost $3,000 USD. For this reason, it is rumoured that less than a million units will be produced initially, and a similar device is expected in 2024 at a lower price with lower performance.
The initial model is expected with a high-performance processor, probably derived from the Apple M2, equipped with 4K displays and many cameras for tracking.