Apple has produced a high-end virtual reality (VR) headset, which is being described as a pricey niche precursor to the augmented reality glasses that the manufacturer may launch later down the line.
Apple has codenamed its VR product 'N301' and it is currently in a late prototype stage. Further reports suggest that Apple is also planning an ambitious leap into the world of augmented reality, with these products planned to be launched in the coming years.
Sources at Bloomberg describe how the standalone VR headset from Apple will cost considerably more than rival products from companies such as Facebook and HTC. With the average cost of headsets currently on the market ranging from $300-900, this could make the VR headset from Apple an exceptionally pricey option.
Information relating to the specifications are currently scarce, but some interesting tidbits have been reported. Crucially, Apple is purportedly planning on a device much smaller than current VR headsets – which require space at the front to accommodate users that wear eyeglasses. To overcome any issues with users' eyesight, this device could use custom prescription lenses.
The report also suggests that Apple may be planning on using a fabric exterior that may help reduce the overall weight of the unit, thus potentially increasing comfort when used for longer periods.
Typically, Apple is known for taking emerging technologies and developing them into something that's easy to use and reliable for most consumers. In this case, though, the manufacturer is reported to be developing this product with the aim of producing something more mainstream later on.
Insiders believe that this product may only sell one unit per day, per Apple store, which would put it in a similar category to the $5,999 Mac Pro Desktop.
Consumer VR and AR headsets are, in many ways, still in their early stages. The industry is still in its infancy and, although there are lots of potential uses, current adoption remains relatively low. With Apple throwing its hat into the ring, however, things could quickly change…