In recent weeks, the buzz around Apple’s entrance into the VR/AR headset market has intensified. Touted as potentially the most significant product launch from the company in years, Apple’s mixed reality headset, possibly named Reality Pro, is expected to be unveiled during the annual WWDC event on June 5, 2023.
What are the rumors?
The anticipation is fueled by a series of leaks hinting at groundbreaking specifications and features. One of the most notable revelations came from Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC). He unveiled possible specs for the headset’s displays, suggesting that the device will include twin Micro OLED panels, each 1.41 inches in size (measured diagonally). These panels are reportedly set to deliver a staggering pixel density of 4000 pixels per inch (PPI) and over 5,000 nits peak brightness. This level of brightness would make the Apple headset an instant standout in the VR headset displays, far outstripping the Meta Quest 2 headset’s peak brightness of around 100 nits.
As for resolution, the twin 4K displays promise a resolution of 4000 x 4000 per eye, dwarfing the Meta Quest Pro’s resolution of 1832 x 1920 per eye. It’s worth noting that these specs align with earlier rumors dating back to February 2022, which suggested Sony was manufacturing twin 4K displays for Apple’s headset.
However, a few rumored features were notably missing from Young’s latest leak. One was the inclusion of a larger, lower resolution AMOLED display behind the twin 4K displays, designed to facilitate foveated rendering. This feature would enable the headset to focus resources on producing high-fidelity visuals specifically where the user is looking, a technique utilized in cheaper headsets like the PSVR 2. The other was the mention of a rumored front-facing display, which could allow others to see the user’s eyes while the headset is in use. This feature was touted as promoting all-day wear and helping users interact with the real world while wearing the headset.
As for the software running on the headset, another leak suggests it will be called “xrOS.” This information was revealed by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, who discovered the term “xrOS” in Apple’s open-source code and received a confirmation when he submitted a mock application for the headset to the App Store Connect platform.
While these leaks provide an exciting glimpse into what Apple’s mixed reality headset might offer, the full extent of its capabilities, design, and cost will remain unconfirmed until the official launch. With the WWDC event right around the corner, fans and tech enthusiasts won’t have to wait much longer to see what Apple’s much-anticipated VR/AR headset truly brings to the table.