New York

Apple is expected to unveil a sleek and expensive headset. Is it the device VR was looking for?

Apple seems poised to unveil a long-rumored headset that puts users between the virtual and real worlds, but at the same time, after other companies have failed to capture the public’s imagination. It also appears to be testing the ability of tech trendsetters to popularize devices with new features.

After years of speculation, the widely-anticipated announcement is ready for Apple’s annual developer conference in Cupertino, Calif., on Monday at a theater named after the late co-founder Steve Jobs. is in order. Apple may also use the event to show off his latest Mac computers, preview the iPhone’s upcoming operating system, and discuss strategies around artificial intelligence.

But the show’s starring role, according to media leaks, will likely be goggles called “Reality Pro,” which is a sign that the company is using groundbreaking technology, even if it hasn’t always done so. It could be another milestone in Apple’s legacy of releasing. They were the first to attempt the manufacture of a particular device.

Apple’s breakthrough pedigree dates back to 1984, when Mr. Jobs in a bow tie peddled the original Mac. This tradition has continued with the 2001 iPod, 2007 iPhone, 2010 iPad, 2014 Apple Watch and his 2016 AirPods.

But with Apple’s new headsets priced in the $3,000 range, they could be met with a lukewarm reception by all but wealthy tech enthusiasts.

Other big tech companies looking to sell headsets and glasses with technology that pushes people into artificial worlds or projects digital images alongside landscapes, should the new devices prove to be niche products. And Apple will be forced into the same shackles as startups. And what you actually see is a form known as “augmented reality.”

Apple’s goggles have a sleek design and are expected to be able to switch between fully virtual and augmented options (also known as “mixed reality”). That flexibility is sometimes called external reality, or XR for short.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg describes these alternate three-dimensional realities as the “metaverse.” It’s a maniacal concept that he’s renaming his networking company Social to his Meta Platforms in 2021 and is trying to push into the mainstream by pouring billions of dollars into improving virtual technology.

But while much of the Metaverse remains a digital ghost town, Quest, Meta’s virtual reality headset, has so far primarily appealed to video game players looking for a more immersive experience in this category. It remains the best-selling device.

Apple executives are likely to avoid mentioning the metaverse when discussing the potential of the company’s new headsets, given the skepticism surrounding the term.

In recent years, Apple CEO Tim Cook has regularly touted augmented reality as the next big leap forward in technology, but he hasn’t set a specific timetable for when it will gain public attention. not

“When you look back at a point in time and zoom out into the future and look back, you wonder how life would have been without augmented reality,” Cook, 62, told an insider last September. said in an interview with Audience of Italian students. “Like today, people like me would wonder how they grew up without the internet. It doesn’t get any deeper than that.”

Responses to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality have so far been decidedly imperfect. Some gadgets that have adopted this technology have been ridiculed, most notably Google’s Internet-connected glasses, which launched more than a decade ago.

After Google co-founder Sergey Brin initially used skydiving stunts during a tech conference in San Francisco to demonstrate the potential “wow factor” of early models to heighten excitement about the device, consumers quickly became uninterested in products that users could operate surreptitiously. Take photos and videos. The backlash was so intense that people wearing the gear became known as “Glassholes,” and Google pulled the product a few years after its debut.

Microsoft also had limited success with its HoloLens mixed-reality headset in 2016, but earlier this year the software maker insisted it would continue to focus on the technology.

Magic Leap, a startup that sparked excitement with a preview of its mixed reality tech that evokes the sight of a whale breaching a gym floor, had such a hard time selling its first headset to consumers in 2018 that it has since gone on to do so. We have shifted our focus to: Industrial, medical and emergency applications.

Daniel Diez, Chief Transformation Officer at Magic Leap, said Apple’s goggles must answer four key questions. What does this look like and what does it feel like? Are they comfortable to wear? And how much will it cost? “

Anticipation of Apple’s goggles selling for thousands of dollars has already dampened hopes for the product. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives expects Apple’s goggles to boast “amazing” technology, but the company’s device will only sell 150,000 units in its first year. , and said it was only a tiny fraction of the company’s portfolio. In comparison, Apple sells more than 200 million units a year of the company’s flagship product, his iPhone. But the iPhone wasn’t an instant sensation, and in his first year on the market, he sold less than 12 million units.

In a move apparently aimed at raising the expected price of Apple’s goggles, Zuckerberg went out of his way to say last week that the upcoming Quest headset would sell for $500, an announcement made by Metaplatform at its tech conference. It took place four months before they were supposed to show off their latest devices. .

Since 2016, virtual and augmented reality device shipments have averaged 8.6 million units per year, according to research firm CCS Insight. The company expects sales to remain sluggish this year, with device sales at around 11 million units, gradually reaching 67 million units in 2026.

But those predictions were clearly made before it became clear whether Apple would release a game-changing product.

“Especially when it comes to the consumer market, especially when it comes to finding killer applications and solutions, I’m never going to ignore Apple,” Magic Leap’s Diez said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if someone enters the consumer market early and it’s Apple.”

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times LLC. Apple is expected to unveil a sleek and expensive headset. Is it the device VR was looking for?

Back to top button