The intrigue surrounding Apple’s mixed-reality headset grows. It has reportedly snagged Meta’s communications and public relations head for Augmented Reality (AR), Andrea Schubert. This is quite the shift for Schubert as she worked with Meta for the past 6 years. Before that, she worked as Director of Outcast, a PR agency with big-league clients such as Oculus and Facebook.
Apple’s reasons for hiring Schubert are apparent. Meta has been leading the market in headsets, and Apple wants the best for its product launch. This year alone, Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 was a best-seller. The Oculus app ranked highest on the App Store for Christmas Day in the US. The next day, it was similarly received as the top free app on the Google Play store, indicating the headsets were a popular Christmas gift.
Apple seems to be looking for that kind of a success story in hiring Meta’s AR public relations head. It has also recently shuffled top-tear execs with VP Dan Riccio set to lead a new project that may centre on the mixed-reality headset. Whether Apple needs Schubert, or the product will sell itself, remains to be determined.
What’s So Special About This Headset?
This news has only gotten tech pundits excited about Apple’s commitment to the new mixed-reality headset. There is very little information to go off of since Apple has remained very secretive about the product. But the rumour mill sounds hopeful. Bloomberg has reported that the mixed-reality headsets could come with an 8K display and 3D sensors for capturing hand movements.
But other conflicting accounts state that it is not a standalone device as Bloomberg claims. Rather it would rely on wirelessly connecting with an iPhone or Macbook to handle most of its computing. The headset itself will have limited processing power. This is because the chip inside the mixed-reality headset won’t be as powerful as Apple’s in-house chips.
Regardless, it will cost a fortune, no doubt. Estimated costs come to a jarring figure of $3000.
When Can We See the End Product?
There is some good news for those anxious to know when this high-end piece of tech is entering the market. Ming-Chi Kuo estimates the launch of Apple’s mixed-reality headsets as early as 2022. While others have argued that Apple has reportedly completed “tape-out”, which is tech jargon for the physical design of the chip, its display driver and image sensor. So it may physically be ready by 2022, but the launch will probably be much later.
Unfortunately anything more concrete is hard to find. Apple has been so committed to keeping the whole project under wraps.
But with so much intrigue and buzz surrounding the headset, let’s see whether Apple can live up to its reputation. We will keep you posted if there are any more updates! Comment below and tell us what you think the headset should be like.