Apple mixed reality headset: Mark Gurman provides more details

In his recent "Power On" newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman shared more details about the Apple mixed reality headset. Mark Gurman is considered a reliable source for Apple rumors and leaks, even if he's not always 100% correct. The headset from Apple, the one for virtual reality as well as for augmented reality a certain range of applications scheduled to cover will likely be June 5, 2023 as part of WWDC23 presented. The newly summarized information revolves around the software usage options as well as the hardware. In addition to some already known points, additional insights are shared.

Parallels to the Apple Watch are drawn again

As has already been brought out from various quarters in the last few weeks, Mark Gurman again tries to make a comparison with the Apple Watch and its market entry in his current newsletter. That was in 2014, and back then it wasn't really clear why potential users would buy an expensive smartwatch and pair it with their iPhone. After all, there were already smartwatches and fitness trackers for a fraction of the price.

A whole host of functionality and interfaces have been made available to see what resonates over the long term. And so the Apple Watch has ultimately become a fitness and health device. Similar testing and later specification is now also predicted for Apple's mixed reality headset. Accordingly, there are currently rumors that everything from video games to sports and fitness applications to iPad apps should be possible with the new hardware.

List of features for the Apple Mixed Reality Headset

The above publication, which circulates every Sunday, has a few more details than last week's reports. Instead of just mentioning the umbrella terms “sport”, “work” and “iPad apps”, the newsletter offers the following list (freely translated):

  • The ability to run most of Apple's existing iPad apps in mixed reality, a mix of AR and VR. This includes books, camera, contacts, FaceTime, files, Freeform, Home, Mail, Maps, Messages, Music, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari, Stocks, TV and Weather.
  • A new meditation-focused wellness app featuring stunning graphics, soothing sounds and voice acting.
  • The ability to run hundreds of thousands of third-party iPad apps from the App Store. These should not have to be adjusted or only slightly.
  • A new virtual reality sports portal as part of Apple's push into streaming of live events and news. 
  • A big focus on games, including top-tier titles from third-party developers for other Apple devices.
  • A feature to use the headset as an external monitor for a connected Mac. 
  • Advanced video conferencing and virtual meeting rooms with realistic avatars that ideally give the feeling that users are interacting in the same place. 
  • New collaboration tools via the Freeform app, allowing users to work on virtual whiteboards and review material together.
  • A new VR-focused "Fitness+" experience for training with the headset (here it is assumed that the release will not take place at the same time as the headset release, but later).
  • A way to watch videos while immersed in a virtual environment, e.g. B. in a desert landscape or the sky. 
  • Users will be able to operate the headset in different ways, e.g. B. by hand and eye control as well as with Siri. It also works with a connected keyboard or with control from another Apple device.

The functions and possible uses mentioned should be accompanied by a whole wave of third-party apps. A software kit for development on the Mac and the display of headset content under macOS should be available from the WWDC23 become accessible. The operating system of the new device should then also be presented as part of the World Wide Developer Conference scheduled for June. According to current rumours, this will be called "xrOS", which should stand for "extended reality".

Dedicated power cable connection, only data via USB-C

While Apple will be forced to launch the iPhone with a USB-C connector instead of the Lightning connector starting this year, the relevant EU directive doesn't seem to apply to the headset's power cable connection. Because this is supposed to get its power via a round connection, into which the magnetic plug is to be inserted and then screwed in for fastening. A USB-C port should only be available for data exchange.

Incidentally, the power comes from an external battery that users should carry in their pocket, on their belt or on their waistband. The battery was probably swapped out so that the headset is lighter and can therefore be worn longer. But not for too long, because the battery should only last for a limited time - about two hours - at a time. The design of the external battery should strongly resemble the Apple MagSafe Similar to the Battery Pack that is available for purchase for the iPhone. There will certainly be additional packs to buy since the headset is used for more than two hours. 

Conclusion on the current headset rumors

In recent years there have been new information and rumors about Apple's mixed reality headset. In recent months, however, they have become more and more concrete. Now the information on the possible areas of application of the device is becoming more and more extensive. It's not long until the beginning of June, so then only the fine-tuning for the information has to be delivered - and of course the product itself. Whether the price of possibly $3.000 is still pending, whether there will be a test here in the blog. In any case, we are looking forward to the upcoming reports from other technology magazines and experts.

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