Apple Working To Launch VR Headset As Precursor To Augmented Reality Tech

The first headset to be rolled out by Apple is likely to be somewhat niche and expensive — and a precursor to eventual augmented reality (AR) glasses, which will take more time to develop, Bloomberg reported.

The initial, mostly virtual reality (VR) headset has already encountered several issues, the report stated. It is intended to display an all-encompassing 3D environment to be used for gaming, watching videos and communicating.

The initial headset, according to the report, is likely to contain some of the more advanced and strong chips, with displays at higher resolutions than those in some VR products that exist so far.

The headset is codenamed N301, and currently it’s in a developmental stage and not finalized. The company’s plans for it could change, according to Bloomberg.

The AR glasses are codenamed N421, and Apple is still working on the underlying technologies, the report stated. The AR functionality, which encompasses the ability to overlay images and information over a view of the real world, is several years away.

Bloomberg reported that the first headset could be launched as early as 2022 and is likely to be more expensive than those pushed by rivals, which usually go for around $300 to $900. Apple insiders, according to the report, said the company might end up offering only one headset per day per retail store. There are 500 Apple stores, so Bloomberg reported that this means the company would be selling around 180,000 units for the whole year, not counting other channels.

The future of smart glasses is currently led by Apple along with Facebook, according to a PYMNTS report. Apple’s product would have capabilities to overlay information like text messages or maps before the wearer’s eyes. Users would be able to control the glasses using Siri.

Facebook’s smart glasses projects are anticipated for release this year, the report stated.