It’s been a long road to Apple’s WWDC 2023. Normally the World Wide Developer Conference is a software-based affair, where UI updates and apps are the order of the day. But expectations are high for this year’s event. Apple’s finally dated the thing so we’d got some idea when to expect Apple’s Next Big Thing™ – 5 June is the day.
And that’s official. What’s (still) not official is whether we’ll see Apple’s Reality headsets. All signs point to ‘yes’, including a report that company head Tim Cook is adamant that AR and/or VR headsets are on the menu for 2023. But we’ll see.
The official invitation artwork for the 5 June WWDC event (seen above) doesn’t offer any hints as to what hardware is expected to turn up. Everyone (and we do mean everyone) expects that Apple’s first mixed-reality hardware is on the roster, alongside updates for all of the company’s operating systems. At this point, it’s been so hyped that a no-show will ever-so-slightly ding the company’s value. Just a bit.
A substantial amount is known (for a given value of ‘known’) about the headset. It’ll cost as much as R54,000 ($3,000), which sounds like a bonkers tactic. Normally, for a technology like this, you’re hoping to make it as affordable as possible. Perhaps Apple has realised that’s not possible at this point and has just leaned into ‘here’s why it’s awesome’ territory.
It’s expected to feature both hand and eye tracking, an external camera so it can function as both a virtual and augmented reality device, and all of the basic functions you’d expect from an immersive headset, including FaceTime and most of the company’s major apps. Suitably reworked for the environment, of course. None of this is official yet, though it’s come via reputable channels. The trick is telling which features are for this year’s release and which are for an even higher-end headset that’s supposedly waiting in the wings.