Revolutionary Reality Pro Headset: Apple’s Answer to Dominating the Virtual Reality Industry
Apple is set to shake up the virtual reality (VR) industry with the rumoured release of its mixed-reality headset, likely called Reality Pro. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the device, which is expected to cost around $3,000, will have eye- and hand-tracking systems that will set it apart from rival products and is aimed at creating a 3D version of the iPhone’s operating system.
The ambitious project, which has been in development for over seven years by Apple’s Technology Development Group, is the company’s first major new product category since the release of the Apple Watch in 2015. Apple is counting on the headset to become a new revenue source, especially with sales growth poised to stall this year.
The Reality Pro will offer advanced FaceTime-based videoconferencing and meeting rooms, the ability to show immersive video content, serve as an external display for a connected Mac, and replicate many functions of iPhones and iPads. Its eye- and hand-tracking capabilities will be a major selling point for the device, and it is expected to cost roughly twice the price of rival devices.
The headset will have several external cameras that can analyse a user’s hands and sensors within the gadget’s housing to read eyes, allowing the wearer to control the device by looking at an on-screen item. Users will be able to pinch their thumb and index finger together to activate a task without the need to hold anything, a feature that differs from other headsets, which typically rely on a hand controller.
Like Meta’s latest headset, Apple’s device will use both virtual and augmented reality. The headset will have two ultra-high-resolution displays, developed with Sony Group Corp., to handle the VR aspect and a collection of external cameras to enable an augmented reality (AR) “pass-through mode.” This means users will see the real world through the cameras positioned on the headset. Apple will offer users with prescription glasses custom lenses that sit within the enclosure itself.
The device will have a so-called Digital Crown, like the Apple Watch, that lets users switch between VR and AR. When in VR, the wearer is fully immersed, and when AR is enabled, the content fades back and becomes surrounded by the user’s real environment. Apple expects this to be a highlight of the product.
The headset’s FaceTime software will realistically render a user’s face and full body in virtual reality, allowing two people with an Apple headset to communicate and feel like they’re in the same room. This technology differs from virtual meeting rooms on Meta’s headset, which creates a more cartoon-like avatar of the user.