A apple inc. has set a June 5 date for the event where it plans to reveal a mixed reality headset, the first major new product since its smartwatch launch eight years ago.
The company has scheduled its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, better known as WWDC, to start on Monday and end on Friday, June 9th. It typically uses the first day of the conference to discuss its state-of-the-art platforms and operating systems. This year’s conference will be held as a “full-day experience” at headquarters in Cupertino, California.
“WWDC23 will be our biggest and most exciting yet, and we can’t wait to see so many of you online and in person at this very special event!” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of developer relations.
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Central to the agenda this time around will be the headset, likely dubbed Reality One or Reality Pro, Bloomberg News reported. Apple will also showcase the accompanying xrOS operating system and a way for developers to write apps for the device.
The conference announcement on Apple’s website features artwork depicting the Apple Park campus, but does not hint at the next headset. The company also plans to launch upcoming versions of its iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch operating systems at the event. The conference typically showcases new software features for Apple TVs, AirPods, and HomePods as well.
The device’s debut will propel Apple into the world of mixed reality, a still-nascent category that has cost Apple billions of dollars. Meta Platforms Inc. and so far it has failed to become popular.
Apple is trying to stand out from rivals with a cutting-edge product that can cost around $3,000 and includes many technologies never before seen in consumer devices. The headset will use a combination of visual and manual control, feature an integrated App Store, and offer virtual reality-based FaceTime, 3D versions of Apple’s flagship apps, and immersive video streaming.
Apple’s product will include multiple external cameras and combine virtual and augmented reality. This will allow users to immerse themselves in their content or press a button to simultaneously see their surroundings while wearing the headset.
Mixed reality technology from other companies has been slow to catch on, so Apple will have to make a persuasive case for why its approach is superior. WWDC could be the ideal stage for such an announcement, given its pro-Apple crowd and the ample opportunity for developers to explore the technology during the week-long conference.
Earlier this month, Apple held a series of demonstrations of the new device for what’s known as the Top 100, the company’s roughly 100 top executives.
The event will mark Apple’s first product launch of the year, following the postponement of a planned announcement for the headset. Earlier in the year, the company announced new versions of the MacBook Pro, as well as an updated HomePod speaker, without an onstage event. The company also plans to release new Macs in the coming months, including its first Mac Pro model without Intel Corp. processors. and a larger-screen MacBook Air.
The mixed reality headset may take years to become a hit, but it will serve as yet another platform for Apple developers to sell their apps and content. The company is planning several features to integrate the headset with other Apple products, including the Mac and iPhone. This could help push developers to expand their existing software to the new platform. The deal also represents an additional revenue opportunity for Apple, which cuts up to 30% on app sales and subscriptions.
Apple could also use the conference to lay the groundwork for upcoming changes to its operating systems to comply with the Digital Markets Act and other future laws designed to rein in its power. The company is planning a future version of iOS 17 to support external app stores and more interoperability with third-party services, Bloomberg News reported.
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