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Monday, October 3, 2022

Apple CEO Tim Cook on rumoured AR/VR headset: ‘Stay Tuned’

Tim Cook has given the biggest hint that Apple plans to enter the AR/VR space, signalling the arrival of the long-rumoured headset that has been in the works since 2015.

During an interview with the Chinese-state-run publication China Daily, Cook was asked about what he believed would take the Augmented reality (AR) technology to become mainstream. In response, he repeated many things he’s said before about the scope of AR and investments the company is making in this domain. Cook then described how AR tech has evolved over the years while noting that users can already experience AR on their iPhones and iPads.

“I think that we’re still in the very early innings of how this technology will evolve,” he added. “I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and sort of stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer.”

Apple is certainly interested in AR and VR technology – that’s a known fact. But is the company interested to develop a headset designed around AR/VR applications? Cook, unfortunately, didn’t say. Still, Cook has acknowledged that Apple has something exciting in the works. It appears that Apple is ramping up efforts to release a headset in the near future.

Apple’s first headset is believed to be a standalone mixed reality headset capable of both AR and VR. Rumours of Apple’s AR/VR headset project have been going on for years. Both Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have reported extensively on the rumoured headset, which is expected to be out in 2023.

At this point, no one really knows what the Apple headset will look like. But if reports are to be believed it will completely different from the existing VR headsets on the market. The headset is said to have an “innovative three-display configuration” that combines dual 4K OLED microdisplays with at least six optical modules to provide continuous “video see-through AR services.” It is said to have an M1 Pro-level chip inside and could feature as many as 14 built-in cameras for advanced tracking. All of that will add to the end price which could be in the range of $3000. Apple is reportedly teaming up with Hollywood directors to create video content for its upcoming augmented reality (AR) / virtual reality (VR) headset, according to a report from The New York Times. 

Apple would likely wait for players like Meta (formerly Facebook) to establish the ecosystem and market for VR headsets. Meta already sells Oculus-branded VR headsets in the market.


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