Apple is working on a VR headset the size of Oculus Quest

Apple is working on a VR headset that resembles an Oculus Quest in appearance and functions, reports financial news agency Bloomberg. The headset should be released next year, but Apple does not expect high sales, according to the news agency.

Apple rather sees the headset as a precursor to the AR glasses that the company is also working on, Bloomberg reports. It is a VR headset that works with a battery. As a result, it must function standalone, without cables. There are cameras on the outside for AR functions, but Apple focuses the device mainly on VR applications for the time being.

Apple wants to use those cameras for control via hand tracking and for a way to enter text by writing with fingers in the air. There may also be an App Store for the device, whose operating system is known internally as rOS. Prototypes are about the same size as the Oculus Quest.

Apple has not added space to place glasses under the headset and is considering allowing users to insert separate prescription lenses just in front of the screens to get a sharp image. It is unknown whether this method is allowed, because the sale of prescription lenses is subject to rules.

The sales expectations are not high, according to Bloomberg; Apple expects to sell a few hundred thousand copies a year through its own stores. This is partly due to the higher price compared to competitors. Ultimately, Apple wants to make AR glasses for displaying an interface over the real world, but that hardware requires even more work and that will take at least another two years, Bloomberg says.

There have been rumors about an Apple headset for some time now. The company has not yet responded. It has been offering an SDK for developers with ARKit since 2017 to build apps for augmented reality. Partly because of this, AR is now on many smartphones.

Looking back: video review of last year’s Oculus Quest 2