It’s been quite a while since we started hearing rumors about Apple’s mixed reality headset. Plenty of additional details about the product have been leaked around the web in recent months as it is expected to launch sometime this year. Interestingly, one of those reports indicated that Apple has invested in an immersive Apple Store experience. But if the company wants the headset to be a hit, it’ll need more than just an Apple Store app in VR.
Apple’s mixed reality headset
For those who aren’t following the rumors, Apple has reportedly been working on its first headset, which will offer both augmented and virtual reality capabilities. The product, which can be dubbed “Apple Reality Pro,” immerses users in an immersive universe to watch videos, chat with other people, and even play games.
All of this is powered by extremely powerful hardware that includes 4K micro-LED displays for each eye, advanced motion and gesture detection sensors, high-resolution cameras and the M2 chip. However, this technology will come at a price, and the latest reports suggest that Apple’s mixed reality headset will cost around $3,000.
Of course, to convince people to buy such an expensive device, Apple has to offer some killer built-in features. and acc Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, one of those features will be an Apple Store app with AR/VR based features.
Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Apple has developed augmented reality capabilities for the Apple Store app. With the new headset, users can see 3D models of Apple products and get more information about them right there. Some of these features may also be available for iPhone and iPad users running iOS 17.
Another recent report by The information suggested that Apple wants to allow users to create their own AR/VR apps just by asking Siri. While the feature sounds very futuristic, it doesn’t seem to be enough to convince people to spend $3,000 on a headset.
The headset needs killer apps
At this point, based on what we know, it appears that Apple’s rumored headset doesn’t have any killer apps. Let’s take the Apple Store app as an example. I have no doubt that Apple will tout the headset shopping experience as something revolutionary. But at the end of the day, nobody really wants to pay to see a store catalog in front of them – it’s basically paying for advertising.
I remember when Apple introduced the first Apple TV with tvOS and one of the demos during the keynote showed how users could buy clothes right on their TV. Apple was really confident that this would be the future, but it turns out nobody really seemed interested in something like this. Unsurprisingly, the app was later discontinued.
A consensus among all the reports about the upcoming headset is that FaceTime will be one of its main features. This is because users can see each other as if they were in the same environment. That sounds really cool too, but how many times a day do you actually call someone? Would you pay $3,000 to use FaceTime?
And I don’t even need to say much about what I think of apps made by Siri. I can’t even play the songs I want with Siri on my HomePods.
Apple should welcome third-party apps
What really has the potential to make Apple’s mixed reality headset a hit are third-party apps. While the iPhone is great on its own, the App Store has made it extremely popular and desirable. Entire companies have sprung up thanks to the iPhone and the App Store. And if Apple wants another successful product with the headset, it needs to embrace the third-party apps.
The watchOS App Store initially looked promising, but the available APIs for the Apple Watch were so limited that many major developers abandoned the platform. And when tvOS launched, the Apple TV had the potential to become a gaming device — but Apple had silly limitations like requiring all apps to be Siri Remote compatible. Now game developers just don’t care about the Apple TV anymore.
I really hope Apple allows developers to unlock the full potential of a device like this headset. Otherwise, none of its amazing features or technology will be enough to convince people that they need one.
What about you? What would convince you to buy Apple’s mixed reality headset? Let us know in the comment section below.
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