Apple’s rumored “Reality Pro” extended reality device will switch between AR (augmented reality) and virtual reality (VR), according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
He adds that the device will have an iOS-like interface and be able to serve as an external display for a Mac. Gurman says the Reality Pro will allow users to see their Mac’s display in virtual reality but still control the computer with their trackpad or mouse and physical keyboard. Other details from the report:
° The Reality Pro will have several external cameras that can analyze a user’s hands, as well as sensors within the gadget’s housing to read eyes. That allows the wearer to control the device by looking at an on-screen item — whether it’s a button, app icon or list entry — to select it.
° You’ll be able to input text via Siri or a physically close iPhone, Mac, or iPad.
° Users will also be able to type in midair with their hands.
° The Reality Pro may sport a built-in battery with USB-C charging.
° It will sport a curved screen on the front that can outwardly show a wearer’s eyes, with speakers on the sides and a headband that helps fit the device around a user’s head.
° A “dedicated video watching feature will make viewers feel like they’re seeing a movie on a giant screen in another environment, such as a desert or outer space.”
° You’ll be able to use FaceTime on the Reality Pro and it will “realistically render a user’s face and full body in virtual reality.”
Last week Gurman reported that Apple has indefinitely postponed development on its other AR/VR project, “Apple Glasses,” because of technical difficulties.
Let me explain. The “Reality Pro” (the rumored name, as nothing has been confirmed by Apple) is an augmented reality head-mounted display. “Apple Glasses” are the anticipated follow-up product that would have a lower price tag and have a design akin to regular glasses.
Now, per Bloomberg, some Apple employees don’t think that Apple will ever ship the latter. Gurman says that most of Apple’s AR/VR group is working on the the “Reality Pro”; however, the concept of AR glasses is still being explored, though not currently in active development.
Instead, Gurman says Apple is focused on creating a more affordable version of the Reality Pro. He says the first model will launch this year but will have an eye-popping price tag of $3,000. Apple wants to provide similar capabilities at a cheaper price point in the future.