Apple’s first mixed reality headset for AR and VR content, the Reality Pro, is expected to be released this year. However, it is still not clear whether this also applies to Germany or only the United States. Now new leaks are rolling around and revealing more details.
Reality Pro leak reveals details
Rumors about Apple’s Reality Pro virtual reality headset have been circulating for some time now, after hints of an imminent release date have been mounting since May 2022. Last fall, the company also acquired the Reality One and Reality Pro brand names, which are said to be related to HMD.
Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman is now providing new details about the nearly $3,000 headset, which is supposed to allow switching between AR and VR modes, per several leaks. According to the leaks, Apple is also planning a segment for corporate solutions such as virtual meetings and immersive videos. According to Gorman, Apple wants to bring something “Absolutely new on the table”.
Operation should be possible without a controller and via head, eye and hand tracking. The headset is supposed to be able to recognize inputs via several external cameras and internal sensors. In addition, the headset will have a rotating crown, as is known from the Apple Watch. Switching between AR and VR is supposed to be enabled.
xrOS is supposed to be a 3D clone of iOS with a similar structure, including the home screen, apps, and widgets. This is intended to make it easier for longtime fans to get started and navigate. However, there will be a separate App Store with its own apps.
In VR mode, the content is displayed on a high-resolution screen, while the digital content is displayed on the real display in augmented reality. Thanks to the passthrough mode, this also works without holes on the front.
Apple Reality Pro: Can be used without an iPhone
What’s more, Gurman reports that Apple Reality Pro can be used standalone and without an iPhone or other Apple devices. Apparently, a modified version of Apple’s M2 chip is installed, which is powered by a specially developed Reality chip for graphics performance. It is also said that a small fan is built in.
The batteries are supposed to be outsourced and not built into the headphones, also to prevent heat issues. A single battery pack is supposed to be about the size of two stacked iPhone 14 Pro Max batteries and allows for a runtime of about two hours.
In addition, high-quality materials such as aluminum and glass must be used. The design will remind us of the AirPods Max, while the curved screen should also be able to show the wearer’s eyes outwards.
Collaboration with Mac and AppleTV +
Moreover, according to the leak, Reality Pro should be able to be used as an external monitor for a connected Mac and display immersive video content. It is also possible to make video calls via Facetime, where the face and body are shown in virtual reality. This should create the feeling that two people are talking via virtual reality in the same room.
Gurman also reported that Apple is working with several media partners to develop VR content, including several movie and audio companies such as Disney and Dolby.
It also plans to develop its own content in the form of special VR videos which will be made available via AppleTV+. Sports content will be presented in VR thanks to Next VR, a company acquired nearly three years ago, while games also play a role.
However, it is still not clear when Apple Reality Pro AR and VR headset will be launched. Anyway, at $3,000, it’s not aimed at the mass market. So Gurman assumes that a cheaper model could follow in 2024, which will then compete with the new Meta Quest Pro or HTX Vive XR Elite in terms of price.