Even if you haven’t put on a Meta Quest headset and experienced Mark Zuckerberg’s virtual world, it might not be long before you can try out Apple’s very own “metaverse.”
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple’s work on its virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) headset continues and the company has posted job openings that offer a glimpse into what’s in store with its VR/AR project. In one list, Apple is looking for someone who can help build a 3D mixed reality world, and Gurman concludes that this could be a sign that Apple is “working on a virtual environment similar to the metaverse,” although Apple probably won’t call it that.
While Apple’s headset is often referred to as a mixed-reality device, previous reports have mostly focused on AR functionality — how the things seen in everyday life can be augmented with digital aspects, such as map clues. This is the first substantial report that Apple is also working on a virtual world where people can interact with each other.
Another vacancy refers to Apple’s intentions to create a headset video service with “3D content that can be played in virtual reality.” Two years ago, Apple acquired NextVR, which developed technology for producing and broadcasting VR events, and this along with the new runway gives more insight into Apple’s intentions with the headset.
Apple hopes its headset can also be a productivity tool. Gurman reports that Apple’s Yaniv Gur has moved from leading the iWork engineering team to working on the headset. Gurman thinks this move will allow Gur to create productivity apps for the headset. Gurman also reports that Dave Scott, former CEO of Hyperfine, is also part of the headset group and may be working on health applications.
Apple’s headset could launch in 2023 in the $2,000 to $3,000 price range. As previously reported, Apple could use an M2 processor along with ten high-resolution cameras and displays. It will run its own operating system, which could be called realityOS, and Apple has filed patents for “Reality One” and “Reality Pro”, which could eventually be the names for the headset.