Apple Reportedly Completes Production Tests for AR/VR Headset

Apple has completed key production tests for its long-rumored augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset, according to DigiTimes.

apple ar headset concept 2Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo

Citing information from the headset's component suppliers, the device has reportedly completed second-phase engineering validation tests (EVT 2) to ensure that prototype units meet Apple's design goals and specifications. DigiTimes added that the headset is expected to debut by the end of 2022.

The preliminary information was shared in DigiTimes' paywalled "Before Going to Press" section, so there are no further details yet. The full report should be published by tomorrow, potentially with more information.

While Apple's headset was widely believed to be scheduled to launch this year, a recent report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman cast doubt on the chances of the device emerging this year due to development problems.

Nevertheless, Apple's headset project is said to be "approaching liftoff," with the device mirroring the development timeline of the Apple Watch in the period before its launch. Apple's work on the headset's operating system, realityOS, has been rumored since 2017, but the existence of the operating system was recently confirmed when references to it were found in App Store upload logs and Apple open source code. DigiTimes' latest report is yet another sign that Apple's headset is ebbing closer to mass production, even if the timeframe for the device's announcement now seems to be vaguely situated somewhere in 2022 or 2023.

The headset is rumored to feature a lightweight design, two 4K micro-OLED displays, 15 optical modules, two main processors, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, eye tracking, a see-through AR mode, object tracking, hand gesture controls, and more. The device's exact price point is as yet unclear, but some reports indicate that it could cost customers around $3,000. For more detailed information, see our comprehensive roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

darcyf Avatar
18 weeks ago
I’m enjoying all the “nobody wants this” comments. Reminds me of so many other product rumours like the iPad and watch that slowly burned into massive successes, or the AirPods that were mocked for their design and went on to become iconic must-haves.

I have a feeling the first AR/VR sets won’t yet know what their killer feature or use case is. They’ll pitch it as one thing, but a few years in people will show the tech giants what these things are really for and the companies who adapt the quickest will rise to the top and dominate the industry.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
easy4lif Avatar
18 weeks ago

Hopefully it’s ready by the end of the year. It would be an intense competition between Oculus and Apple.
Oculus $299, Apple 3k. This isn’t a price point apple should want to hit
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
18 weeks ago

AR goggles like in the render? No way.

Do people really think that Apple is going to try to get into the gaming market? They have had so many opportunities, and they have not pursued it yet, I doubt they are going to now.

The only "headset" I see Apple launching is an AR headset which would help with everyday things, like displaying a HUD for navigation, notifications, etc...

Am I wrong here? If they are going to do VR, and they are not making the headset for gaming, what are they making it for?
No, people around here probably don't assume gaming. As you say, Apple has had MANY opportunities for that and never seriously gone after it (off phone).

If pricing rumors are true, it needs to bring something very desirable. For example, I just spent over $2K on a widescreen, high-resolution monitor for my next Desktop. There's some believing this product could virtualize ANY size monitor so your "big"/"best" monitor could always be with you. If so and if it works well (no headaches), I'd much rather have shot that $2K towards THIS instead.

My last big screen TV cost much more than the rumored price. If this could allow me to bring an equivalent big screen TV with me when traveling, I could rationalize a pretty good outlay for it.

The question will be: if something can fool your eyes into seeing ANYTHING, what anythings are worth whatever the actual MSRP will be? That's not a hard list to make. For example, sports fans might pay upwards of several thousand dollars for court-side seats to ONE game. A service that creates a realistic sense of sitting front-row center for any sporting event/show/etc seems like it would easily sell for several thousand dollars plus an ongoing service fee.

Peloton gets about $50/month so that you can ride a bike with instructors through a variety of places in 2D. If you could feel much more like actually being in those places (if you could look side to side and even behind you and see that you are THERE, is that not worth at least the same subscription cost? If so, how much is 2-3 years of that kind of experience worth?

Exercise/Dine with celebrities? Turn staycations into something that feels much more like true vacations? Go to a "live" Beatles concert in approx. 1963? Go be a part of ANY historical event that can be rendered for this? Lunch on the moon? (Superman) fly around anywhere? Swim down to check out Titanic first hand (and not be crushed by the pressures). Etc.

Many of us seem to only think gaming and that this is going to have to deliver a way for us to slice boxes flying at us in 3D upwards of 4X-6X better than Oculus. But gaining control of what our eyes see and what our ears hear has tons of possibilities far beyond what we've seen so far.

As others say, the software will make this sale. If the software dazzles, the demand will be there.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lazyrighteye Avatar
18 weeks ago
Bring it.
And ahead of the holidays would be perfect timing.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AlexESP Avatar
18 weeks ago

I’m enjoying all the “nobody wants this” comments. Reminds me of so many other product rumours like the iPad and watch that slowly burned into massive successes, or the AirPods that were mocked for their design and went on to become iconic must-haves.

I have a feeling the first AR/VR sets won’t yet know what their killer feature or use case is. They’ll pitch it as one thing, but a few years in people will show the tech giants what these things are really for and the companies who adapt the quickest will rise to the top and dominate the industry.
I don’t know how many times it has to happen. I can’t see how anyone with some imagination cannot the see the potential of this product.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ForzaJuve Avatar
18 weeks ago
I don’t believe it until I see blurry, clandestine pictures of the headset.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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