Apple Inc is widely likely to announce a new headset that will blend video of the outside world with the virtual one at its annual software developer conference next week.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Meta Platforms Inc’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, are jockeying to define how consumers will put to use a new generation of technology where real and digital worlds converge.
Zuckerberg has laid out a vision of the “metaverse,” a parallel digital universe where people will gather together to work and play, and has had products out for years.
Apple marketing chief Greg Joswiak, by contrast, recently called the metaverse “a word I’ll never use.” And Apple’s device so far is just a rumor.
Apple’s presentations at its Worldwide Developers Conference start at 10 a.m. PDT (1700 GMT) in California on Monday.
Until now, the company best known for iPhones has limited its augmented-reality efforts to technology.
It works on existing devices, for instance by enabling retailers’ apps to show virtual furniture in a customer’s living room.
Analysts say that the Apple device, which Bloomberg has reported could cost near $3,000.
And look like a pair of ski goggles, is a place holder of sorts.
The Cupertino, California, company’s grand vision remains to produce a pair of transparent glasses. It overlay digital information on the real world and can worn all day, every day, those analysts say.
But in the face of competition, it decided to launch its own goggles.
Apple has been pushing augmented-reality features for its iPhones and iPads since 2017.
But its mainstream uses have remained limited to mostly furniture-shopping apps and a handful of games.
Part of the reason Apple has kept its efforts private, analysts say, is that no one in Silicon Valley is quite sure how people will eventually use mixed- or augmented-reality technology. This industry insiders call “XR” for short. There is no “killer app” for the device yet