How Apple’s ‘Reality Pro’ Headset Will Work, Reveals Report

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has revealed on Monday how Apple’s upcoming mixed-reality headset will work.

The longtime Apple insider shared extensive details on the headset likely to debut as Reality Pro, and a price tag of roughly $3,000 USD (just over $4,000 CAD).

Essentially, the Reality Pro headset will aim to create a 3D version of iOS, coupled with eye and hand-tracking systems, to compete against Meta’s virtual reality headsets.

Reality Pro has over 1,000 people in Apple’s Technology Development Group working on the device, a project seven years in the making.

Here’s what Gurman shares about the new Reality Pro headset:

  • It can be an external monitor for the Mac in virtual reality
  • Operating system is named xrOS internally, many iPhone and iPad features in 3D, including Safari, Photos, Mail, Messages, Calendar
  • App Store, Apple TV+, Apple Music, Podcast apps; health-tracking planned
  • Main screen will have grid of icons like iOS and iPadOS; support for widgets
  • Text input will be possible using Siri, or keyboards from iPhone, iPad, Mac
  • Future feature: typing in mid-air with hands
  • Gaming: ARKit for VR games
  • Processor: version of M2; dedicated GPU for mixed-reality known as ‘Reality Processor’
  • Battery will be in an external pack, to rest in a user’s pocket and connected via a cable; will have a cooling fan; only 2 hours battery life per pack
  • Battery size: will look like 2 x iPhone 14 Pro Max devices “stack on top of each other”; some testers complained setup was possibly ‘cumbersome’
  • Possibly USB-C charging
  • Design: curved front screen; made from aluminum, glass, cushions (comparisons to AirPods Max); speakers on sides and a headband

The user interface will see cameras on the headset read a user’s hands and fingers, while sensors will read the wearer’s eyes. Combined, users will be able to pinch and zoom with fingers in the air, without the need to have a hand controller like rival reality headsets. Are we ready for a world like Minority Report?

Apple will create what sounds like Reality Pro pop-up shops inside Apple Stores to let customers try on the headset. Driving people to Apple Stores may result in sales of other products.

According to Gurman on Monday, “A shell company continues to file trademarks globally for “xrOS” – the name Apple is using internally for its headset’s operating system. The latest was earlier this month in New Zealand.”

Gurman believes eye and hand tracking that debuts with Reality Pro may be the next big interface from Apple, comparing it to other revolutionary interfaces from the company, such as the iPod click wheel, iPhone multi-touch and the Digital Crown from Apple Watch.