Apple’s XR Headset: The Current State of Our Knowledge

Apple's XR Headset

Apple’s XR Headset: Apple’s rumored AR-centric VR headset rumors are piling up. From confidential sources and leaks, we have collated the most pertinent data.

For a long time, speculation has persisted that Apple might enter the headset business. Mark Gurman, an informed Apple leaker, is confident that 2023 will be the year of “Apple Reality,” despite the product’s multiple delays.

Where do we stand with Apple’s Mixed Reality goggles at this point?

Introductory Note on Apple and AR

It has been rumored for almost seven years that Apple has been developing a Mixed Reality headset. The Technological Development Group, which is in charge of development, reportedly now employs over a thousand people.

The headset’s release date has been pushed back from 2019 due to internal delays. Due to technical constraints, among other factors: Until the release of the Apple Watch in 2015, Apple had not introduced a significant new product category.

You can learn more about the intricate and protracted evolution of the XR headset by reading the following articles:

  • The report follows the headset’s unending evolution.
  • Apple’s headset doesn’t cater to gamers.

Apple’s flagship augmented reality product to date is also its software offering: ARKit, released in 2017. It allows for augmented reality on Apple devices like the iPad and iPhone.

Mobile augmented reality has limitations in immersion and usability due to the user having to hold the display in their hand.

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As developing lightweight but powerful AR glasses is not yet possible, tech companies have begun working on mixed reality headsets as a workable interim option. Among them are well-known brands like Apple, HTC, Samsung, and Meta.

What does Apple term their augmented reality headset?

Trademark applications suggest the new category of products could be called Apple Reality.

There could be two versions of Apple’s mixed reality headset: the first, more expensive one could be dubbed Apple Reality Pro, and the second, more wallet-friendly one could be called Apple Reality One.

Apple’s augmented and virtual reality headset tech.

Apple’s first mixed reality headset has been the subject of several leaks, rumors, and predictions, some of which date back years. Our standard list of references follows the article.

The following should be treated with caution due to the lack of confirmation. Apple could be working on several prototypes at once, with the potential to alter, eliminate, or add as-yet-undisclosed technical features. It’s also possible to scrap the product at the very last minute.

Exhibit and Optical

The headset has two screens, one on the inside and one on the outside.

Sony’s micro-OLED panels inside each screen are 4K in resolution. The lenses’ interpupillary distance (IPD) is automatically adjusted by tiny motors inside the housing. There are 120 degrees of visibility. Insertable corrective lenses are available for individual use.

The external screen is intended to display the user’s facial expressions (see Meta’s study for more information on this) and other information. The goal is to make people feel less alone when using the device.


There are two main chips that drive Apple’s headset. The system-on-a-chip (SoC) is built around Apple’s M2 CPU (codenamed Staten).

The passthrough processing and digital reconstruction of the physical world are handled by a separate chip with the codename Bora.

Apple created a third processor to improve communication between the two chips, as there was still a perceptible lag between the real world and the digital passthrough view.

Sensors and cameras

More than a dozen cameras are built into the mixed reality headgear, recording everything from the user’s eye movements to their facial expressions to the position of their legs for full body tracking.

Foveated rendering (lower rendering burden by dramatically reducing image quality in the periphery, e.g. Playstation VR 2 employs this approach) and iris scanning (used for online purchases and speedier logging into the device) both make use of eye-tracking for more lifelike avatars.

The headset incorporates LIDAR scanners for usage in mixed-reality applications.

A headset with speakers

Apple has created two separate head mounts, one for programmers and one for regular customers.

The latter is constructed of the same synthetic rubber as Apple Watch bands and features built-in speakers.

Apple is ditching the headphone jack. You can swap them out with the second-gen AirPods Pro or the Max instead. Unlike other Bluetooth earphones, these are equipped with a chip that keeps latency to a minimum.


Neither the housing nor the headband incorporates the battery. Instead, it should be slung over the hip. The headset and battery unit are linked by a cable.

Former Apple chief designer Jony Ive prefers this method because it makes the product lighter and facilitates the easy exchange of batteries, each of which is rated to provide power for around two hours. The Information speculates that Apple may have scrapped the design since it no longer receives input from Ive.

Plans and suggestions

The headset’s lightweight and compact construction utilizes aluminum, glass, and carbon fiber. The result is a product that is slimmer and less bulky than other headsets. For aesthetic reasons, the cameras and sensors are tucked away as much as possible.

There’s a slider there on the right that lets you toggle between the digital and real worlds in an instant.

Apple's XR Headset
Apple’s XR Headset

It was unclear from the data how Apple would choose its input method. The business is exploring a wide range of interfaces, from thimble-like wearables to more natural inputs like eye tracking, hand tracking, and voice control. According to the site, a specialized gaming controller is not in the works, at least not for the initial release.

Software and operating system

Apple’s trademark applications hint that the headset’s operating system may be dubbed xrOS, suggesting the company is designing its own software from the ground up.

It will presumably have access to standard iOS capabilities and Apple’s own productivity apps and will be completely integrated into Apple’s ecosystem (hardware and software).

Virtual reality (VR) conferences using avatars are reportedly one of Apple’s most anticipated uses for VR. In addition, Apple is reportedly intending to live stream events in a fully immersive format, and it is collaborating with Hollywood studios to create original content.

Is it expected that Apple’s MR headset would function independently?

That is unless Apple decides to incorporate the battery into the headgear.

Apple leaker Mark Gurman claims that the device can be set up and used without an iPhone. With the original Apple Watch, things were different.

How do Apple’s augmented/virtual reality goggles appear?

The headset’s dimensions, design, and weight are inconsistently described.

According to The Information, a futuristic prototype has already been pictured, and it looks like “a sleek, curved visor.” Based on the photos, the website was able to sketch out the prototype.

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Later, professional renderings of the headset were created by 3D product designer Ian Zelbo based on this sketch.

We have no idea if this is representative of the prototypes we have today or the final product that is being developed.

When will Apple announce the price of its augmented reality headset?

Because of the high quality and pricey components like the screens, it is estimated that the XR headset might cost anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000, or more.

According to rumors, Apple is hard at work on a more affordable follow-up device that won’t see sale until at least 2024.

Who is Apple’s augmented/virtual reality headset designed for?

A mixed reality headgear would be counter to several of Apple’s core values, such as being neither trendy nor widely accessible.

For Apple, the headset would serve as a stopgap measure until the company can perfect its augmented reality glasses. Apple is likely to sell the product to programmers first. Apple’s mixed reality ecosystem might benefit from developers using it to explore virtual and augmented reality and create groundbreaking new applications.

Businesses, educational institutions, and professionals are another audience that may be interested in the mixed reality headset for 3D visualization, education, and design of all kinds in physical space (products, architecture).

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Even Apple probably has no idea where this road will end up. If Mark Zuckerberg’s claim that augmented reality will become the next great computing platform after the smartphone is correct, then it seems vital for the firm to have a product in its portfolio that can compete with Meta’s hardware.

When will Apple finally reveal its augmented reality headset?

Apple alone can tell. The release date for the mixed reality headgear has been pushed back multiple times in the last year, from 2019 to 2022 and back again.

Mark Gurman, the source of numerous Apple leaks, remains confident that 2023 will mark the release of Apple Reality.

His most recent information indicates that its debut at WWDC 2023 in June is possible.

Also, many inquire

Is Apple working on a virtual reality headset?

Apple is working on at least two augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices, including a mixed reality headgear for a 2023 release and a cheaper version for a later release. The planned release date of 2022 for Apple’s headgear has been pushed back multiple times.

Can you tell me about Apple’s latest headset?

We’re excited to show you AirPods Max, the next generation of our best-selling wireless headphones. The pinnacle of private listening has arrived. Excellent sound reproduction. Transparency mode active noise cancellation.

What should Apple label its virtual reality goggles?

Apple trademarked “Reality Pro,” “Reality One,” and “Reality Processor” in late August 2022. According to Gurman, Apple’s first headset would be called Reality Pro, which suggests a high-end product on par with, or even better than, Meta’s planned Quest Pro.

A mixed reality headset is what?

The real world is captured by the mixed reality headset cameras. A stereoscopic image is reconstructed using algorithms and shown through see-through screens. Devices like the Meta Quest 2 have been using this so-called passthrough technology for some time now.

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When will we see new virtual reality technology in 2023?

One of the most significant years in the development of VR is maybe 2023. Both the Playstation VR 2 and Meta Quest 3 will be released this year. Both gadgets, like their forerunners, will undoubtedly go down in history as groundbreakers.

I was wondering how much Apple’s virtual reality headset will set you back.

Reliable insiders claim that Apple is already working on cheaper models of its AR/VR headset, which might be released in 2024 despite the high price tag of the initial iteration (rumored to be approximately $3,000).

What about the quality of sound? Do Apple headphones stand out?

The Sound of EarPods and AirPods. Overall audio quality and Apple AirPods sound and Apple AirPods sound are similar because their audio drivers are implemented similarly, but the AirPods give a better one in terms of bass.

Is Google developing a virtual reality headset?

The Google AR/VR Headset is still in its early stages of development, thus a release in 2024 is plausible but optimistic. Google’s headset reportedly entered field testing in July 2022. A small number of prototype units have been secretly dispersed by the corporation.

Is Apple developing wearable electronics?

Once scheduled for delivery in 2023, Apple pushed back the debut of the eyewear until sometime in 2025. Apple has now delayed the launch indefinitely and reduced development on the augmented reality product.

What exactly is mixed reality?

By fusing the actual and virtual worlds, mixed reality paves the way for more organic and intuitive 3D interactions between people, machines, and their surroundings. Innovations in areas such as computer vision, graphical processing, display technologies, input methods, and the cloud have made this new reality possible.

Explain the function of a 3D VR headset.

(Virtual reality headset) A device is worn over the head that shields the eyes from the environment in order to simulate a 3D environment. Virtual reality headsets, sometimes known as “VR goggles,” can be totally self-contained, like the Meta Quest or HTC Vive.

Can you imagine what virtual reality will be like in 2020?

IDC predicts that the virtual reality and augmented reality market would be worth 15.5 billion euros by 2022. By 2023, spending on augmented and virtual reality is expected to reach $18.8 billion, up 78.5 percent from the 2020s predicted $10.5 billion. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 77.0 percent.

Exactly why are iPhones still superior?

To ensure the safety of your data, they provide security options like facial or fingerprint authentication. Due to its restrictive operating system and platform, the iPhone prevents apps from monitoring your web browsing habits. It also uses end-to-end encryption for iMessage and FaceTime video conversations.

Is Apple developing a pair of glasses?

Apple’s original release date for the Apple Glasses was 2023; the company later pushed the release to 2025, and now it has been delayed “indefinitely.” Although Apple has reportedly put development on hold, Bloomberg claims that the company is still seriously considering the augmented reality (AR) market.

Can I assume that all virtual reality games are expensive?

Some virtual reality games are free to play, while others might cost up to $60. When compared to indie games and games from smaller studios, which frequently have cheaper prices to encourage players to check them out, games from major studios tend to have a higher price point.

Does Apple intend for Virtual Reality to be used in gaming?

According to rumors, Apple has even made the metaverse “off bounds.” Users can use the mixed reality headset for chatting, watching videos, and playing games, but it is not meant to be worn constantly or as a replacement for real life.

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