An Apple analyst has recently hinted that the release of a mixed reality headset could be coming next year. The alleged headset is poised to focus on VR(virtual reality) and AR(augmented reality) experiences, while future products could focus more heavily on AR. The prototypes do not have a determined cost or weight at the moment. This move from the tech giant could be huge for the entire industry.
Reality headsets have had some successful launches in recent years with the Oculus Rift, Valve Index, and the Oculus Quest series; However, VR still has not broken into the mainstream like some predicted in the past, and VR remains a niche field of technology. The issues with VR include simulation sickness, beefy computer requirements, and space requirements for operating the headsets. These collective issues have plagued many popular headsets and only recently have issues like the beefy computer requirement been solved.
The mixed reality experience could be a way to bring new consumers into the tech ecosystem. Mixed reality could turn people’s living rooms into interactive exhibits or provide entertainment through spatial games. Mixed reality could also be introduced to the workspace in an attempt to bridge physical spaces with projections. A flagship mixed reality experience could finally break the fear of VR and AR experiences if done correctly; However, it could also fail horribly due to technical issues.
Luckily, the AR and VR communities will have the “Apple Effect” on their side when the new Apple headset might launch. All customers of the Apple ecosystem will be formally introduced into the world of produced realities, turning the tech-head community into a mainstream group. Apple’s blessing of VR and AR will also prompt other companies to develop an immediate response to the new headset if they want to remain relevant. The continued investment into VR and AR from Apple will also get the interest of investors who want a piece of the action before the explosion of new tech company flagships. Apple’s weight will be pivotal for getting the VR and AR experience to become something everyone knows about and wants in their home.
After the “Apple Effect” starts to kick in fully, AR and VR might infiltrate tech-savvy companies’ work environments. Experimental tech will get iterated upon for work purposes and evolve into mature, corporate-approved tech as time goes on. Eventually, less tech-savvy companies might become interested in the new possibilities given enough time(possibly many years). AR could enable a new level of virtual meetings or simulated face-to-face with other distant employees. AR and VR could also allow for simulated 3D group collaboration for creative purposes. AR lenses have already been tested for virtually showing floor plans currently, so with help the medium could evolve into much more diverse uses.
The investment into virtual reality does not end with a single Apple headset. The idea of AR glasses have already been discussed by rumours before much to the chagrin of Google. Further in the future, AR contact lenses have been proposed by Apple leakers, which would be more futuristic than ever imaginable. The AR and VR ecosystem could evolve like smartphones and become their own world of specialized technology.
Unfortunately, It is not all smooth sailing for VR and AR enthusiasts. The common issues of simulation sickness and setting up the cameras in the headset have not been completely solved. Oculus has created a safety area system for their headset, but Apple might go a different direction. General jankiness could also scare away less tech-savvy Apple fans who are used to more typical tech products. The hype train would be severely deflated with massive waves of issues plagued the launch of Apple’s headset.
The future envisioned by many people in the 20th century is finally arriving, and it is exciting for many. Holographic models and futuristic meetings are no longer a fantasy due to advancements in VR. Public emotions about the launch of Apple’s new headset could set the tone for VR and AR acceptance for decades which is why this product could be so important. Regardless of how Apple’s headset launches, the future will be bright for the virtual worlds of tomorrow.