Apple Inc.’s next major product a mixed-reality headset that it hopes will vault the company into a new era of computing isn’t set to arrive until next year. But job listings and personnel changes at the company give a preview of some of the device’s capabilities.
Here’s what we already knew: The headset itself is likely to be priced between $2,000 and $3,000 because it’s a high-end product that will pack a Mac-level M2 chip, more than 10 cameras placed outside and inside the device, and the highest-resolution displays ever featured in a mass-market headset.
We also know that the device will run a new operating system dubbed realityOS, which will include mixed-reality versions of core Apple apps like Messages, FaceTime and Maps. The first version of the operating system, codenamed Oak, is wrapping up internally and should be ready for the new hardware next year.
Another key detail is the potential name, as it affirms the high-end nature of the headset. I reported in August that Apple is behind the trademark filings for “Reality Pro” and “Reality One,” suggesting that the company is deciding between those two brands for the device. The “Reality” moniker makes sense given the operating system name and existing Apple AR development tools like RealityKit.
That listing describes working with other developers to “build tools and frameworks to enable connected experiences in a 3D mixed-reality world.”
“You will work closely with Apple’s UI framework, human interface designers and system capabilities teams pushing you to think outside-the-box, and solve incredibly challenging and interesting problems in the 3D application space,” it reads.
As the launch approaches, Apple has also made two key additions to the management team overseeing the device’s development: a former senior leader on its self-driving car staff and one of its most senior software engineering managers.
The group itself is run by Mike Rockwell, Apple’s vice president of AR/VR, as well as Dan Riccio, its ex-chief of all hardware who likely sees the product as his final initiative at Apple. Riccio reports directly to Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, underscoring the seriousness of the work.
With the new additions, Apple is bringing back a former senior member of its self-driving car unit: Dave Scott. Scott left the company in early 2021 during a time when several car executives were quitting. But he returned after a brief stint as the CEO of Hyperfine, a health company building mobile MRI machines.
Scott is known for his work in the medical and robotics industries—and for getting complex products ready to ship. His involvement could suggest some health applications for the headset.
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