Apple keynote at June 5 WWDC event expected to stage new AR device

  • VR
  • Sunday, 28 May 2023

Amid swirling rumours that Apple is about to launch a mixed reality headset (an entirely new product for the company), the company says it is preparing for its "biggest and most exciting" developer event on June 5. — Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple is inviting press, developers and device users to watch its developer conference keynote on June 5, which industry media have suggested could be the event the company uses to stage its long-rumoured mixed reality headset.

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

On Tuesday, Apple announced the keynote on June 5 at 10am California time (1am Malaysia time) would showcase new "technologies, tools and frameworks" coming to the company's ecosystem, but disclosed little more about what to expect.

The AR product is expected to hit the market a few months after the WWDC, according a previous Bloomberg report. The so-called mixed reality headset is said to use 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 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.

Apple 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 says and those keen to watch can stream via YouTube or Apple TV. – dpa

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