Apple is banking on a new mixed reality visor to beat Meta to virtual world supremacy. Here’s how it works, when it comes out and how much it will cost.
The challenge between Apple and Meta for domination over augmented and virtual reality seems close to a turning point. If all goes as planned, the Cupertino company might actually succeed in imposing itself on Zuckerberg’s company.
The visor project is not new for Apple. Which has been working on the idea for years, although not always with the desired results. Yet now, the announcement that the Chinese company Pegatron will start mass production suggests that the moment when people will finally be able to buy this new Apple product is not too far away.
Technical specifications and design of Apple’s new flagship visor
The Apple visor should be able to support both augmented and virtual reality, technologies also known as ‘mixed reality‘. However, these are distinct technologies that can have quite different applications.
Virtual reality concerns an immersive experience in another world. The virtual world, whereas augmented reality implies a modified view of the real world. Virtual reality is currently mostly associated with gaming, but may have many more technological applications in the future. Augmented reality, on the other hand, does not have the same immersive potential, but precisely because of this, it lends itself to broader uses, and it is on the latter that Apple would seem to be focusing most.
In addition to the visualiser, a pair of glasses for augmented reality alone would also be in production. But these could be released later than the visualiser.
The latter should have two chips inside that would allow it to perform complex tasks and handle the potential of virtual reality. Obviously, it will be compatible with both Mac and iPhone.
From a design point of view, Apple’s visor should be rather similar to others on the market (such as Facebook Oculus). Perhaps with a greater focus on user comfort.
The technology also includes spatial dimension-sensitive sensors (3D-sensing modules). Which will make it possible to detect movements and objects around the wearer with unprecedented precision. For a fully immersive experience, audio support and finger sensors are also expected.
Apple’s mixed reality visor: price and release date
Production is expected to be around 750,000 units. So it would not yet be a product aimed at the masses, but rather a tool for a more select target group, such as content creators or developers. Moreover, prices are also expected to be much higher than for the iPhone 14. They could go up to EUR 3,000.
Apple would not expect, therefore, to sell more than one visor per day per shop. So the expected production for the first year on the market should be between 7 and 10 million units. As for the precise release date, the famous analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (whose predictions regarding Apple are usually very precise) suggests that the actual launch announcement should come in January 2023.
After all, Apple already held a demonstration of the visor for its board of directors in May 2022, so there is no reason to believe that Ming- Chi Kuo’s prediction is not reliable.
A few more months, then, and we will witness a new phase in the war between Apple and Meta for the domination of mixed reality.