Sunday, April 30, 2023

Apple's Coming Headset


Bloomberg - "Apple Readies Arsenal of Apps for New Headset, Aiming to Win Over Wary Users"
By Mark Gurman

"Apple Inc. is racing to build a trove of software and services for its upcoming mixed-reality headset, seeking to win over potentially wary consumers with apps that use the device’s novel 3D interface.

The offerings will include gaming, fitness and collaboration tools, new versions of Apple’s existing iPad features, and services for watching sports, according to people with knowledge of the plans. The roughly $3,000 headset is set to debut at an event in June, with the product going on sale months later.


The push will include optimized versions of the Safari web browser and Apple’s services for calendars, contacts, files, home control, mail, maps, messaging, notes, photos and reminders, as well as its music, news, stocks and weather apps. There also will be a version of the FaceTime conferencing service and Apple’s TV app. The features will look similar to their iPad counterparts.


Besides the core apps, the company is working on a version of Apple Books for the headset that will allow users to read in virtual reality. The company is also testing a camera app that can take pictures from the headset. On the wellness front, an app will help wearers meditate with a series of calming graphics, sounds and voice-overs.

In what is likely to be another highlight of the device, Apple is also working on a version of its Fitness+ service for the headset, which will let users exercise while watching an instructor in VR. Meta Platforms Inc., the market leader in VR headsets, has also tried to make workouts a part of its offerings.


FaceTime, meanwhile, will generate 3D versions of users in virtual meeting rooms, Bloomberg News has reported. The idea is to make participants feel like they’re talking together in the same place — a goal of virtual reality goggles for some time. Meta has pursued a similar objective with its Quest headsets, but so far it hasn’t proven to be a must-have feature for most consumers.


One selling point for the headset will be viewing sports in an immersive way. The company already offers games from Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball on Apple TV+, but it’s looking to make that a richer experience. In 2020, Apple acquired a Southern California company called NextVR to bolster this effort."

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