With just a day to go before Apple is expected to unveil its VR headset, here are some predictions on what it will look like, and what features it will have, based on some common sense and some of my insights.
Note that Apple has not released any information about this VR headset, nor announced that it will be unveiling its VR headset on 5th June, so all that you’re going to see are just speculations. But I’m only going to show you the features that make the most sense:
1. It looks like a pair of skiing goggles
It’s not as bulky as some of the other VR headsets (Apple is an expert at miniaturisation with a ton of experience with its iPod and iPhone).
It’s light and comfortable. This is most important as no matter how appealing the metaverse is — if it’s going to be uncomfortable to get into it, the VR headset will not succeed.
2. It is a Mixed Reality headset
You can use it for Virtual Reality where your eyes see only what is displayed on the screen in front of them, or for Augmented Reality where you can see your real physical surroundings wearing it as if you’re wearing a pair of glasses — and information about things that you see in your real physical surroundings will pop up within your vision.
With Augmented Reality you can also put virtual objects into your real physical surroundings such as furniture so that you can see how the arrangement will look like before you purchase it for your living room.
Thus Virtual Reality + Augmented Reality = Mixed Reality.
This will expand the use of Apple’s VR headset quite significantly. Augmented Reality can already be done with our iPhone and iPad, but we need to hold up our iPhones and iPads in front of the physical surroundings to see the virtual object. The Apple VR Headset eliminates this issue.
3. It will have multiple cameras within the headset
Some of the cameras will be tracking our eyes’ movement, and the other cameras will be tracking our hands, body and legs’ movements.
The data from these cameras will be used to immerse the user fully into Virtual Universes and enable them to react and be reacted to.
4. The screen is likely to be at 4k high-resolution
For a great VR experience, the resolution of the images and animation within the headset must be in high resolution. A low resolution with pixelated images will always remind you that you’re in a simulated world, while high resolution images will immerse you fully into it.
High-resolution images require a high-performing chip. However there is also the requirement that the high-performing chip does not consume too much power, so that the user can be immersed in Virtual Universes for a couple of hours at least.
This is where Apple, with its amazing low-power and high-performance M1 and M2 chips, will have a huge advantage.
5. It will have good sound embedded within the VR headset
Apple has perfected its sound technology in a small space with its AirPods so the same tech will be within the headset.
There is also the possiblity for AirPods to be synced to the images so that the user can have even better sound quality.
6. It will run ready VR, AR and normal Apps
All existing VR and AR apps will be able to run on the Apple VR headset.
Since there already exists millions of other normal apps in Apple’s Appstore and Books app — Apple will enable all of those apps to function in its VR headset as well. Because — why not?
7. There is no specific focus on what activities users will use the VR headset for
This is because Apple has no idea what the majority of the masses would want to use it for. We may think it’s mainly for gaming but time will tell.
Thus at launch, Apple will take a broad approach and let the users and developers do what they need to do — simply test things out and see.
This approach is more like the Apple Watch than the iPhone. The iPhone is quite specific in its use at its beginning – it’s a mobile computer in your pocket, with a full-strength mobile browser. The apps came later to increase its uses to many more possibilities.
The Apple Watch was positioned as a companion to the iPhone, which later came to be any gadget because of iPhone apps that turned the iPhone into more than just a mobile computer — it could be a flashlight, a camera, a video camera, a tape measuring device, a gaming device, and more.
And now as the use of Apple Watch became clearer, skewing towards health and exercise, more and more apps are developed in these areas specifically for the Apple Watch.
I have already mentioned the various uses of Apple’s VR headset above — so I’m going with it being more like the eventual iPhone.
8. It will likely have a few price points
One for the masses — at between USD500 – USD999.
One for the pros — at between USD2,000 – USD3,500 and above.
For Apple’s VR headset to succeed, not only must it be technically adequate, with an array of VR/AR apps that the masses want, it must also be affordable. If it’s a luxury item, it will fail.
This is common sense after all. Apple will need to ensure its price can be brought down to as low as possible while still giving Apple the margins it wants.
Because Apple owns its own high-performance, low-power chips, writes its own software, makes its own hardware and have experienced internal technical teams who can make them all work optimally like they have done with the Mac and iPhone, squeezing the maximum performance out from very little hardware, have a ready user base of over a billion all over the world thus giving it huge economics of scale, and a marketing machine that requires mainly a Keynote presentation streamed over the Internet this 5th June 2023 to hundreds of millions of viewers (which will later go viral) — it is the ONLY company capable of achieving this.
Not Samsung, not Microsoft, not Meta.
Because if those 3 are capable, they would have locked up the VR market by now. As you can see, this is not the case, even though Samsung, Microsoft and Meta have all made and sold their own VR headsets for years now.
Will all of the above turn out to be true? We will know on Tuesday 6th June 2023 our time.
Once it’s fully revealed — we will then know how to multiply our income with VR.