Apple’s VR headset could change everything, yet again

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off today in Cupertino and expectations are high for a new virtual reality headset from the company.

WWDC is typically where Apple shows off new software features coming to iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers, but this year, all signs point to new hardware.

I think having a third major player in the market could really push VR to the next level, said Nicholas Sutrich, who covers VR for Android Central.

If the rumors are true, and there have been many, Apple could set the stage for a big hardware announcement in mixed reality headsets.

I think we mostly need a company to come in and get people that they really want to wear these things, Sutrich said.

Apple has invited an interesting mix of developers, tech journalists and members of the VR community to participate.

Their next headset should handle both AR and VR.

VR is a way of replacing reality with a virtual one, so it puts you INSIDE the game, Sutrich explained.

AR is actually very different, it’s called augmented reality, and it’s a way to place virtual objects in the real world, Sutrich said.

Apple has been making AR for a long time. In fact, I got to play an AR game that the company was demonstrating in 2019.

Apple’s combination of hardware, software and marketing could shift this emerging tech mainstream.

I think this move is very important and I’m really looking forward to what they do,” Sutrich said.

It’s been a bumpy road for VR and AR.

Google was early on with an AR headset called Glass. It was advertised but expensive and never really delivered on the promise of easy access to information in your field of vision.

Microsoft’s AR headset called HoloLens ended up making the leap from consumers to business applications.

Two recent headphones worked fine.

Metas Quest, formerly Oculus, has now sold more than 20 million units. Facebook recently made a surprise announcement about the Meta Quest 3, which will launch this fall for $500. It will have a better display and performance, but the specs still aren’t up to par with what’s expected from Apple.

Sony says its gaming-focused PlayStation VR 2 is already outselling its predecessor.

Google is working with Samsing to create what’s called an extended reality headset, which combines different aspects of AR and VR, and even mixed reality.

This technology will eventually end up on our faces, it’s just a matter of when and how it will be.

Apple headphones are supposed to be stylish, with a higher resolution display and more features.

I recently got a sneak peek at the micro 4K display technology that is expected to power Apple headphones. A company called BOE was showing off its 1.3-inch 4K MicroOLED display, and it was incredibly clear for being so small. You can get a sense of how immersive it is here.

The big question mark is the price. Apple’s headset is expected to cost thousands of dollars. That’s a lot for an unproven technology, especially a first generation.

But Apple has the stores to be able to demonstrate this new technology and the wherewithal to give it a long runway to develop into their next big product category.

Plus, people walk into Apple stores and spend thousands of dollars on phones, computers, tablets, and more every day.

It will be a superior product to what is currently on the market in terms of AR and VR, but it really depends on the ecosystem of the app, how it is evaluated in the long run, how they position it and if there really is a killer app for it to get off the ground, said Mark Gurman, Bloomberg Tech Reporter on the Rich on Tech Radio Show.

I’ll be at Apple WWDC, which starts at 10am Pacific time. You can broadcast the event online or follow me Chirping for bigger updates as they are announced.

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