According to a recent Bloomberg report, Apple is hard at work on a metaverse-enabled headset. Allegedly, Apple’s board members are already testing this “mixed-reality” wireless headset, and industry experts suggest a product launch could be imminent.
Investigators have also discovered the company Realityo Systems, LLC sent a patent to the US Patent & Trademark Office for the term “RealityOS.” Interestingly, Realityo wants to use “RealityOS” in “wearable” devices, suggesting it could be on a metaverse headset.
In the past, Apple has used difficult-to-detect “shell companies” to register patents without drawing media hype. Interestingly, Realityo Systems is headquartered in the same office as Apple’s previous shell companies.
Although Apple hasn’t officially commented on this news, many tech experts believe it could reveal its first metaverse headset this fall. If so, it would be Apple’s first new item since the Apple Watch.
Bloomberg reporters suggest Apple’s rumored headset will have a system of cameras on the outside. These cameras may provide users with a high-definition augmented reality experience.
Since Apple has yet to confirm it’s working on a metaverse headset, there are no details on its projected price. However, market analysts at CNBC believe the first version of Apple’s metaverse headset could sell for $3,000 per unit.
Along with fellow tech giant Google, Apple has been relatively quiet on Web3 and the metaverse. However, in early 2022, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said his company was interested in improving its augmented reality offerings.
Can Mac take on Meta?
Facebook’s parent Meta always dominates the headlines related to VR or AR headsets. Unlike companies like Apple or Google, Meta has publicly staked its reputation on building the best metaverse technologies, including its famous Oculus headset.
Although estimates suggest Meta holds the lion’s share of the world’s VR/AR headsets, it could face significant competition in the upcoming years. Besides Apple, many other tech companies have signaled their interest in developing high-quality metaverse experiences.
For instance, the Taiwanese company HTC has a popular VIVE VR headset that’s deliberately promoted as a “metaverse device.” Earlier this year, HTC hinted it would create a new “metaverse phone” that might link with its “VIVERSE” ecosystem.
Rarity Sniper also reported on Sony’s innovative Spatial Reality Display (SRD) tablet. Although SRD isn’t a VR headset, it uses advanced eye-tracking technology to deliver a metaverse-like experience without headgear.
It’s also worth mentioning that Google has its AR-enabled Google Glass. More recently, Google announced it would add new Web3 services to its Cloud division, and CEO Sundar Pichai has made positive comments about the potential of augmented reality.
At this point, it’s safe to say the global VR/AR headset market will increase in the ensuing years. Indeed, an analysis from TrendForce suggests shipments of metaverse headsets will rise by 36 percent in 2022.