Bad news for Mark’s Metaverse? Apple is reportedly planning a 3D world with its upcoming mixed-reality headset
Apple’s development of the first generation of its long rumoured augmented reality headset is nearing completion, with new hirings at Apple reportedly indicating a launch next year.
This is according to Bloomberg’s noted Apple leaker, Mark Gruman, who reported that Apple’s next major product – its mixed-reality headset – is set to arrive in 2023.
It is already known that Apple’s new headset “is likely to be priced between $2,000 and $3,000 because it’s a high-end product that will pack a Mac-level M2 chip,” Mark Gruman reported.
It will feature more than 10 cameras placed outside and inside the device, and the highest-resolution displays ever featured in a mass-market headset, Gruman wrote on Bloomberg.
“We also know that the device will run a new operating system dubbed realityOS, which will include mixed-reality versions of core Apple apps like Messages, FaceTime and Maps,” he added. “The first version of the operating system, codenamed Oak, is wrapping up internally and should be ready for the new hardware next year.”
Gruman also hinted at the wearable’s potential name, after he reported in August that Apple was behind the trademark filings for “Reality Pro” and “Reality One,” which he said suggests Apple is deciding between those two brands for the device.
The “Reality” moniker makes sense given the operating system name and existing Apple AR development tools like RealityKit, noted Gruman.
And then Gruman pointed to some additional details he had uncovered, thanks to Apple job listings published over the last several months and changes to the team behind the future headset.
The team behind the headset is reportedly called the Technology Development Group, or TDG.
“A few job listings indicate that Apple is ramping up its work to bolster the device with content,” noted Gruman. “The company is searching for a software producer with experience in visual effects and game asset pipelines who can create digital content for augmented- and virtual-reality environments.”
And Gruman also pointed to possible bad news for Mark Zuckerberg and his big ‘Metaverse’ ambitions.
Gruman said the the job listings imply that Apple is looking to build a video service for the headset featuring 3D content that can be played in virtual reality.
“This would follow the company’s 2020 acquisition of NextVR, which partnered with artists and professional sports leagues to transmit VR content to headsets,” he wrote.
Apple is reportedly also looking for engineers who can work on development tools geared toward virtual and augmented reality.
Unsurprisingly, it appears that the company wants its new operating system to use App Intents, which lets apps work with features like Siri and Shortcuts, noted Gruman.
“We are looking for a software engineer who will work on the App Intents framework to help design and implement solutions to unlock deep system intelligence, enable new developer tools, and facilitate novel user interactions from application data models which are leveraged by a variety of system services such as Shortcuts, Siri, Search, and more,” one job listing for the TDG department reportedly says.
Gruman noted that the most interesting job listing is one that specifically calls out the development of a 3D mixed-reality world, suggesting that Apple is working on a virtual environment that is similar to the metaverse – though don’t expect Apple to embrace that term. Its marketing chief said at a recent event that metaverse is “a word I’ll never use.”
That listing describes working with other developers to “build tools and frameworks to enable connected experiences in a 3D mixed-reality world.”
As the launch approaches, Apple has also made two key additions to the management team overseeing the device’s development: a former senior leader on its self-driving car staff and one of its most senior software engineering managers.