Apple is reported to be working on a VR headset that would feature a fabric design and cooling fan. This follows a Bloomberg News report that the Cupertino company’s first Virtual Reality headset may launch by 2022.
The report states that the standalone device operates on batteries, similar to the Oculus Quest 2. In case you didn’t know, Oculus is owned by social media giant Facebook.
It is said that Apple is working on “some of its most advanced and powerful chips” for this unannounced VR headset, which is codenamed N301. Some those chips reportedly beat Apple’s own M1 Mac processors that currently power the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13” and Mac mini.
But the development of the headset has not been smooth and steady for Apple. Some prototypes of the device ended up being too big and heavy. To address this issue, Apple opted to use a fabric exterior to reduce the headset’s weight. It also said to be fitted with a fan though this is quite unusual for Apple given the company’s emphasis on fan-less designs in its products.
Some prototypes tested are said to include external cameras that would enable the headset to use Augmented Reality (AR). Apart from that Apple is said to testing the ability to use these cameras to track hand movements and even allow the user to type using a virtual keyboard.
Given all the high-tech features that are expected to come on Apple’s VR headset, it is reported to be an expensive piece of hardware and be a niche device. The company anticipates that it may sell only one headset per day at each of its retail stores in the US. That would come up to less than 200,00 units sold per year.
Now, news of Apple working on a VR and AR headset is nothing new. There have been rumours has been going around for years according to various reports. Of course, most of these speculations have not borne fruit. However, Bloomberg believes that Apple may be serious this time as it said that the company already has a team of 1,000 people working on AR and VR products.