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The diversion’s unique feature is the eye-watering price

The diversion’s unique feature is the eye-watering price

May 21 update below. This post was first published on May 18, 2023.

Only a few weeks passed until the expected unveiling of Apple’s mixed reality headset, likely called Reality or Reality Pro. Although Apple hasn’t talked about the product, it’s expected to be revealed at the keynote that will kick off this year’s WWDC, at 10am Pacific on Monday, June 5th.

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May 21st update. Mark Gorman of Bloomberg, in his latest work Power On newsletter, a group of new information about the upcoming Apple headset. There’s a lot more out there, but here are some of the more interesting ones. It includes a welcome confirmation of the eye-catching screen I’m keen on.

First, he says that thousands of Apple employees are working on the headphones, including engineers, executives, and those involved in marketing. Apple is a big company, but this number is still very impressive.

What is remarkable is the length of time Apple has worked on this product. If Gorman is right, it was “seven years’ effort plus.” Which means it was part of Apple’s roadmap shortly after the announcement of the first Apple Watch, or perhaps even earlier.

The people involved with the headset include “executives from the company’s technology development group, the secret team behind the device.” Leaving aside the fact that you probably don’t need to say a secret word because that’s a given with Apple, I’d say, the list of people is pretty interesting. It features Jony Ive, a design legend who has since left the company. Says Gurman, “Although I’ve already moved on to a part-time job at Apple in the early days of the headset, he’s been involved with the project since its inception.” Exactly when I reduced his workload to him has become a matter of debate and I personally believe he has maintained a tighter grip on the design for longer than Gorman believes. But I’m sure he’s right when he says “He also pushed for a portable design—without an external base station.” Then, and here’s the thing I’m happy about, Gorman says I also pushed for “an external display that allows you to see through the user’s eyes.” In other words, contrary to John Gruber’s assertion below, Gurman is not implying that the outside show is a joke company.

I also wanted “a seamless transition between virtual and augmented reality.”

Interestingly, Gorman also spilled a previously unknown bean, saying that the smooth transition is achieved through a dial-like interface, “via a digital crown inspired by the Apple Watch.” Such a design makes sense: The AirPods Pro Max have an enlarged Digital Crown button.

Other people involved include Mike Rockwell, who has apparently been part of the team since 2016, and who, according to someone involved in development, is “an absolute genius, and if anyone can do it, it’s him.” Other names are on the list, including Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Chief Marketing Officer Greg Joswiak. Well, it would be very surprising if they weren’t engaged, but they’re both pretty good at what they do, so it’s good to know.

I’m sure there will be more leaks ahead of the expected June 5 reveal, so please check back to find out more. Now, back to the other finds from Gurmand and John Gruber.


May 20th update. John Gruber, of Daring Fireball fame and well-connected Apple guy, has a lot to say about the new headset. Not all of this satisfies.

Let’s start with the good stuff. He’s confident, like I am, that Apple will announce the new headset at WWDC. Here is his reasoning: “I think the headset will be announced at WWDC. There is too much smoke to be fire. And, apparently, behind the scenes Apple is not quietly trying to moderate expectations about the headset. The same thing happened with the iPhone before Macworld Expo 2007 – Rumors have been circulating that an Apple phone is finally coming, and no one from sources has heard that it won’t.” I agree with all of that. Of course, developers watching the keynote at WWDC are an ideal audience for such a reveal.

Timing could be an issue — there’s an awful lot of programming to be announced at DubDub’s keynote — but Gruber thinks it’ll be dealt with with a very fast-paced presentation that crams a lot, something made more manageable by Covid than the main-recorded movie format. Gruber says, “Apple doesn’t like to run keywords longer than two hours… Here’s the thing though: Post-COVID keywords are not only pre-recorded, they’re edited very tightly. I suspect we’ll get a keyword that still comes in.” In less than 2 hours even with a full 40 minute clip announcing both the headset and xrOS. You’ll go fast. Fitting the headset and xrOS dev frameworks into the old WWDC keynote on stage would pose a problem. I don’t think it’s a problem with The new “Keynote movie” format. We’re not going to walk away from the keynote thinking it was too long; we’re going to walk out of it with our heads spinning because it’s going to cover so much, and fast.”

As Gruber says, there will likely be a bunch of things not revealed in the keynote that will be published online next. This is where the really interesting details are revealed.

But Gruber also thinks the feature I’m most keen on, the headset’s front screen we’ve talked about below, won’t happen. He refers to this feature as “googly eyes”. He explains, “I’d buy this head-up display rumor if there was a Cylon mode. Otherwise, I’d stick to my earlier understanding that this was an inside joke taken as true; that it would look clumsy rather than human; and that even if it didn’t look foolish, it wouldn’t make sense to add the financial cost of a screen.” external to an already expensive device, and even less sensible to put up with the drain on battery life to run that external display on a device with an already restricted battery.”

Okay, so I’m disappointed about this, but I’ll also say Gorman isn’t often wrong about this sort of thing, and I don’t remember him previously mistaking a joke for something serious. I guess we’ll find out on June 5th. I keep my fingers crossed.


Mark Gorman from Bloomberg, In a new, broad report, revealing many details that are believed to apply to the new device, from the expected high price to some of the flashy features, including the unique feature of the Apple headset. Here are the main points from the report.

It will cost you $3,000

And if you think that’s expensive, keep in mind that this price is based on Apple selling it at roughly cost. It’s a hefty price tag, though it won’t always be that expensive, says Gorman: “Internal expectations give it the potential to eventually become as big as an iPad or Apple Watch, as the company adds features and lowers the price with later versions.”

It’s an ambitious group

“Apple’s ambition is for customers to eventually wear the device continuously throughout the day,” Gurman says. Replace daily tasks They are done on your iPhone or Mac like playing games, surfing the web, sending email, making FaceTime video calls while collaborating on apps, working out, and even meditating. It will Hand and eye control feature and run many types of apps found on other Apple devices.” Other reports indicated that it would work with all iPadOS apps.

You will sell close to a million

That’s the sales estimate, 900,000, after Apple realized it was likely to be a niche device to begin with. Previously, I thought it could sell up to 3 million.

It’s a gamble

According to the report, Michael Gartenberg, a former Apple marketing director who is now an independent consultant, warned that the device could be “one of the greatest tech flops ever,” noting the lack of a real market for mixed reality headsets and the performance of Magic devices. Leap and HoloLens “I think there is a lot of internal pressure for the next big thing,” he says.

Portability is key

Internal discussions veered between a headset with a separate Mac mini-sized docking station for a power boost. Still, says Gorman, Jony Ive, who appears to have been involved with the project until nearly a year ago, “preferred a stand-alone, ultra-portable device, even if it meant sacrificing some performance.” He also worried that it would end Order Apple to create a product that isolates humans from each other.”

Cross VR

The result is claimed to be a compromise of both visions, as “outdoor video cameras capture their environment and display it on screen when users switch the headset from VR mode to AR mode, a feature known as ‘video passthrough.'”

Which leads to a very cool feature

This is unique. Staying connected to the real world has been a priority for how people use the headset and that means a cool feature will be added, unlike any other headset. In an effort to keep headset wearers connected to the real world, the device will have an external display that shows their eye movements and facial expressions. Apple considers this feature a key differentiator from bundled VR headsets. External monitors allow people to interact with the headset wearer, says a person familiar with the device. head without feeling like they’re talking to a robot.”

Exactly how this will work — or what it looks like — is anyone’s guess, but it looks cool and if Apple gets it right, I imagine, it could be a very interesting device.

So what does this mean?

First of all: never. under-estimate. apple.

Secondly, let’s remember that everyone got it wrong with the price of the iPad. In 2010, prices of $999 and up were predicted for Apple’s first tablet, and they were less than half of those prices when Steve Jobs announced them. I’m not saying I think the price of this speaker will be much lower than expected, but definitely watch this space.

And third, Apple supports its product categories for the long term. The first Apple Watch, the first iPhone did not beat the market in terms of sales, but with the third generation, everything changed. I don’t think a company will launch a product unless they believe in it. While I don’t think the headset will ever replace the iPhone, it will add another screen for another series of functions, just as the screens of the Mac and Apple Watch are larger and smaller than the iPhone respectively.

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