Apple’s next major product is ‘so good’, expert claims – and we could get a glimpse


Apple’s next major product is mere weeks away from launching – and an early review suggests it will live up to the hype.

Palmer Luckey, the 30-year-old American entrepreneur and founder of the Oculus VR platform, appears to have tried the device. 

Luckey, who sold his firm Oculus to Meta for $3 billion (£2.4 billion) in 2014 at the age of 21, simply said in a tweet on Sunday: ‘The Apple headset is so good.’ 

Official details about Apple’s device are scarce, but it’s believed it will display notifications, messages, directions and more in front of the wearer’s eyes

It’s not known how or where he got to try the device, although Luckey is a big name in the VR industry. 

Luckey, who sold his firm Oculus to Meta for $3billion in 2014 at the age of 21, simply said in a tweet: 'The Apple headset is so good'

Luckey, who sold his firm Oculus to Meta for $3billion in 2014 at the age of 21, simply said in a tweet: ‘The Apple headset is so good’

30-year-old Palmer Luckey - who has developed a reputation for turning up to tech conferences wearing Hawaiian shirts and shorts - said Apple's new device is 'so good'

30-year-old Palmer Luckey – who has developed a reputation for turning up to tech conferences wearing Hawaiian shirts and shorts – said Apple’s new device is ‘so good’

MailOnline has contacted the entrepreneur for more information. 

Luckey, who began Oculus when he was just 15, is a video game enthusiast and owner of a defence company called Anduril Industries, founded in 2017. 

More recently, he devised a headset called NerveGear that instantly ‘destroys the brain’ of the user when they die in a virtual game. 

Thankfully, Apple’s new headset – which is expected to be called ‘Reality Pro’ and released later this year – will not be quite as deadly. 

Publicly, Apple has made no acknowledgement of the upcoming device, but its existence is an open secret within the tech industry. 

A US leaker called Mark Gurman, who has been drip-feeding information about it in his weekly newsletter for months, says it could ‘replace the iPhone’. 

Reality Pro will be launched on Monday June 5, the first day of Apple’s five-day Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Gurman claims. 

Apple confirmed the dates for WWDC in March but didn’t make any official mention of the headset in the announcement. 

Expected to be called 'Reality Pro', the headset will transport notifications, messages, directions and more from your iPhone to in front of your eyes

Expected to be called ‘Reality Pro’, the headset will transport notifications, messages, directions and more from your iPhone to in front of your eyes

A glimpse of the new headset? A cryptic promo image for Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year features curving coloured lines

A glimpse of the new headset? A cryptic promo image for Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year features curving coloured lines 

However, Apple’s promo image for WWDC this year features curving coloured lines that look similar to the curved shape of a headset. 

Apple’s headset: Rumours

Release: September 2023

Type: Mixed reality  

Processors

– One ‘higher-end’ similar to the M1 or M2

– One lower-end to manage ‘sensor-related aspects’ 

Operating system: xrOS 

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E 

Price: $3,000 (£2,400) 

Reality Pro will be released to stores in September, around the same time as the company’s next iPhone, Gurman has said. 

The headset ‘will start at around $3,000’, which is around twice as much as some of the priciest smartphones on the market now.

Reality Pro will overlay digital images on real-life surroundings – technology known as augmented realty (AR). 

But it will also be capable of virtual reality (VR), meaning it will project entirely virtual elements without the real life background.

AR layers computer-generated images on top of an existing reality – Pokémon Go being a famous example – while VR is wholly virtual, and mixed reality (MR) combines the two. 

Whether it’s notifications, messages or map directions, wearers will be able to go along the street and constantly see their device interface in AR, without having to take their iPhone out of their pocket. 

When the wearer is stationary, the device could be switched to VR, ideal for playing games, watching movies or having conversations with avatars online. 

Palmer Luckey recently devised a headset called NerveGear, which instantly 'destroys the brain' of the user when they die in a virtual game, thanks to three terrifying 'explosive charge modules' that are pointed at the user's skull

Palmer Luckey recently devised a headset called NerveGear, which instantly ‘destroys the brain’ of the user when they die in a virtual game, thanks to three terrifying ‘explosive charge modules’ that are pointed at the user’s skull

Reality Pro is expected to be launched with its own operating system, xrOS, which will host familiar Apple apps including FaceTime, Messages and Maps.

Gurman thinks the headset will be launched with a new portal for watching sports in VR as part of Apple’s push into streaming live games and news. 

There will also be advanced videoconferencing and virtual meeting rooms with realistic avatars, making users feel like they’re interacting in the same place. 

According to another leaker, Ming-Chi Kuo, the Apple headset will be marketed as an iPhone accessory and the two will need to be linked up. 

Even so, the headset will contain sensors and its own processors – one ‘similar’ those used in its Mac computers and iPads, and another to manage ‘sensor-related aspects.

It’s thought it will work with the iPhone so that any alerts that come through on the phone will be displayed on the headset, but the new product will give Apple fans a whole new level of immersion and touchless control. 

Rival tech firms such as Meta, Samsung and Microsoft have already launched AR or VR headsets, but Reality Pro is expected to be more like using a smartphone, except it’s over your eyes. 

Rival tech firms such as Meta and Google have already launched AR or VR headsets, Pictured, Meta's Quest Pro VR headset

Rival tech firms such as Meta and Google have already launched AR or VR headsets, Pictured, Meta’s Quest Pro VR headset 

Last autumn, Meta launched its $1,499 mixed reality Meta Quest Pro VR headset, which boasts new features that are meant to improve users’ perception of actually being in the presence of others.

However, Meta Quest Pro VR is mostly targeted at professionals in creative fields, businesses and enthusiasts, so it shouldn’t be a direct rival for Reality Pro. 

Other big sellers in the space are the HTC Vive brand, owned by Taiwanese firm HTC, Samsung Gear VR and Microsoft’s mixed reality HoloLens headset  – but these are quite bulky devices that target mostly gamers or professionals. 

Why is Apple releasing a mixed reality headset? 

Apple has long been rumoured to be developing an AR wearable; the tech giant filed a patent in 2019 that gives a glimpse into what it may be developing behind closed doors.

But work on the headset has been going on for the best part of a decade. 

According to Gurman, Reality Pro could be the next major platform beyond the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch, which was first released to much hype back in 2015.

Mark Gurman has called the June 5 launch ‘one of the most critical events in the company’s history’ and an opportunity ‘to herald a post-iPhone era’. 

With Reality Pro, Apple is ‘preparing for a future beyond the iPhone and iPad’ – but execs are ‘clear-eyed about Apple’s challenges pushing into this new market’. 

While Gurman thinks the first version will be a ‘dud’ in terms of sales compared with the company’s existing hardware, future versions will likely do better as the product finds its place. 

For now, Apple will have to explain to consumers why they’d want to own such a device and how it’s an improvement over the likes of iPhone and iPad.  

Paolo Pescatore, analyst at PP Foresight, said the device will appeal to loyal fans and those who want ‘an immersive experience in areas such as games and live events’. 

Apple has long been rumoured to be developing an AR wearable. The tech giant filed a patent in 2019 (pictured) that gives a glimpse into what it may be developing behind closed doors

Apple has long been rumoured to be developing an AR wearable. The tech giant filed a patent in 2019 (pictured) that gives a glimpse into what it may be developing behind closed doors

But among the general public, adoption and awareness of AR and VR technologies ‘remains lackluster’ and could hamper sales of the headset. 

‘The device will provide a much needed boost and reignite interest in the virtual and augmented reality market,’ Pescatore told MailOnline. 

‘Ultimately this is still at early stage and has some way to go before its mass market and widely accepted. 

‘People are not rushing out of their seats to buy a VR headset or even watch 360 degree videos.’ 

Pescatore also said Apple ‘cannot solely rely on the iPhone forever’ given intense competition from rival firms in new product categories such as foldable devices

‘The company has placed strong focus on the iPhone as a gateway to the Apple universe,’ he said. ‘This might suggest it is behind the curve on new hardware.’ 



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