Latest Apple headset rumors say it will include VR workouts and sports

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is reportedly preparing a wide range of apps and services for its upcoming mixed reality headset. The company appears to be moving forward with plans to announce its first VR/AR headset at its global developer conference in June.

Apple’s mixed reality headset (rumored to be called “Reality One” or “Reality Pro”) can reportedly switch between virtual and augmented reality. It will have a heavy focus on gaming, fitness, sports, and collaboration tools. Customers who buy the device will be able to use “millions” of existing apps in the headset’s 3D interface “with slight modifications” by developers. Additionally, Apple has reportedly been working with “a small number of developers” for months to optimize apps for the new product. Announcing the device months before its launch should also give other developers time to create new apps or adapt existing ones for the futuristic interface.

Although many details of the product have been leaked before, a new bit in this report is the ability to run Apple Fitness+ workouts in VR. (Imagine a virtual workout that makes you feel like you’re in the same room as the coach.) Additionally, it will reportedly support immersive sports viewing by sharing the company’s streaming rights to Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball and its uses 2020 acquisition of VR sports startup NextVR. Likewise, the Apple TV app lets you watch videos in virtual environments like a desert or the sky.

According to the report, the headset will have a productivity focus, similar to the Meta Quest Pro. “The platform will support their Pages word processor, Numbers spreadsheet, and Keynote Slide Deck apps, as well as iMovie and GarageBand for video and music production,” Gurman writes. It would also prioritize communication and remote collaboration, allowing users to see full-body 3D avatars of people they’re talking to in FaceTime calls. Gaming will also be a major focus. This hasn’t always been the case, however, as today’s report says Apple hasn’t paid as much attention to this area before.

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Gurman also reiterates previous reports of the headset, including a Digital Crown like the one on the Apple Watch and AirPods Max headphones that let you switch between VR (fully immersive, not a real-world view) and AR (using cameras to combine your real-world surroundings). ) can switch and virtual elements). It would support running multiple apps at the same time, “floating within the mixed reality interface”. It could also remember where you were in your physical environment and leave virtual items in the same place you left them. (We already saw this feature in the first HoloLens dev kit back in 2016.)

The headset also lets you control it using eye gestures, which determine where you’re looking, and hand gestures, like pinching your fingers, to select items and navigate menus. Additionally, it features an airborne virtual keyboard and supports physical keyboards for a more tactile typing experience. The home screen could look similar to that of the iPad, with Apple’s familiar Control Center for toggling things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and volume. Eventually, it will support Siri voice control and use eye scanning for security, acting as the device’s equivalent to Face ID and Touch ID.

Although the product will offer a robust feature set that will spark curiosity, other companies have tried similar things but are not yet successful. For example, while the cheaper Meta Quest VR headsets have performed reasonably well as gaming devices, the pricier Meta Quest Pro — with a similar focus on mixed reality and productivity apps — has been a tougher sell to consumers. And Apple’s version will reportedly cost about three times as much — a whopping $3,000. On the other hand, Apple’s history requires a certain open-mindedness: MP3 players predated the iPod, smartphones predated the iPhone, and smartwatches predated the Apple Watch. These competing devices all had similar features, but failed to capture the public’s imagination in the same way as Apple’s sleek and easy-to-use variants.

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Even if the product is aimed at a niche audience, it could serve as a consumer-facing transitional product that hints at eventual AR glasses that pass as regular glasses frames. Considered the holy grail of mixed reality by many in the industry, such a device could be worn all day around the world, while the mixed reality headset expected in June wouldn’t.