Apple VR headset coming? WWDC developer conference set for June 5

This year's WWDC is expected to be a significant one, if rumours of Apple's plans to launch its first VR headset can be believed. — Photo: Christoph Dernbach/dpa

CUPERTINO: Apple's next Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) runs June 5 to 9 this year and is set to feature the company's first-ever virtual reality headset, tech industry reports say, predicting the launch of a whole new product category for Apple.

The product is expected to hit the market a few months after the WWDC, according a Bloomberg report. The so-called mixed reality headset uses cameras to show you the environment around you and blend the real world in front of you with virtual reality elements.

In typically mysterious event announcement, the design of this year's WWDC shows a kind of lens, if that offers us any clues.

Apple, while remaining highly secretive about its upcoming product launches, is known to have been working on the area of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for several years.

With Apple's rumoured headset, the wearer is said to be able to use FaceTime to see the caller realistically rendered in front of them, while a digital crown lets you switch between seeing VR content and the real world around you, according to Bloomberg.

The company is also reported to have developed a light pair of glasses with transparent lenses that have the technology to include additional information in the user's visual field.

But it may be several years before the technology is sufficiently advanced for the headset to be relatively compact plus have sufficient battery life, industry insiders say.

For now, Apple's initial headset is likely to resemble the ski goggle design of other VR headsets from Meta and HTC, according to reports. But Apple's headset will cost significantly more, around the $3,000 mark, if reports are anything to go by.

The conference will held online again, the company said on Wednesday. However there will also be an event on the first day for developers and students at Apple's Cupertino headquarters.

Beyond the headset, Apple developers and other viewers can expect the annual tech summit to feature the usual overview of Apple's planned software changes, which typically arrive in an autumn update, giving developers a chance to work on their apps in the meantime. – dpa

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