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Leaked Specs For Apple VR Headset Invite Speculation
Apple's plans for developing a wireless virtual reality headset surfaced via Cnet News on April 27, causing people to travel in their imaginations to 2020 when they might be able to buy one. The tech specs for these plans include two eye screens with 8K resolution plus a custom chip handling the computational load from a nearby box that communicates wirelessly with the headset.
Other specifications leaked about the product under development are its use of 60GHz WiGig and/or 802.11ay for wireless communications. Additionally, the custom-built chip will be built with 5-nanometer architecture, twice the density of iPhone X's 10-nanometer processors.
On March 12 at SXSW, Apple Senior VP, Internet, Software and Services Eddy Cue took pride in having 2,000 App Store titles based on Apple's AR software development kit. The company has long been committed to augmented reality, which can also be integrated with iPhones and their sensors.
Immersive VR headsets would mark a step beyond that for Apple. Although the project has a codename — T288 — its rumored specs could be projections based on other innovations still making their way out of the lab and to the consumer marketplace.
At 8K per eye, supported by superfast processing, immersive VR has the potential to break through the reality barrier and supply a sense of seeing things as one does in everyday life. Other VR headsets and content are entering the consumer market this year, so Apple's long-term VR goals could also be influenced by the pace of the emerging aggregate VR market. Cnet quotes a CCS Insight study estimating 2018 AR/VR headset sales at 22 million units with the potential to grow to 120 million in 2022. That rosy projection would support a $10 billion per year VR industry four years from now.
Whatever Apple specifically decides to do as the release of its eventual VR products comes closer, observers expect their insistence on designing for intuitive use should make their product easier and simpler than the competition. This already includes being connected through the backend to Apple's computing ecosystem so any of its products can share data.
It is too soon to tell if they will program a virtual iPhone you can use in Apple's immersive worlds, but it's safe to assume you are sure to be connected.