(CNN)– Next week, Apple may unveil its most ambitious new hardware product in years, but it’s not a safe bet in one product category.
Apple is expected to unveil a „mixed reality” headset on Monday at its annual developer event that offers both virtual reality and augmented reality, a technology that overlays virtual images on top of live, real-world video.
The long-awaited virtual reality and augmented reality headset will be Apple’s biggest hardware product launch since the Apple Watch debuted in 2015. It will mark a new era for the company and will revolutionize the way of millions of people. They interact with computers and the world around them.
But even for Apple, with its remarkable track record, the launch faces challenges on several fronts.
According to reports, testing potential buyers at a time of continued uncertainty in the global economy, the company is considering charging $3,000 for the device, which is more expensive than most of its products. Other tech companies are struggling to sell similar devices. In the years since Apple was rumored to be working on the product, the tech community has shifted its focus from virtual reality to another hot technology: artificial intelligence.
But if there’s one company capable of proving doubters wrong, it’s undoubtedly Apple. The company’s entry into the market, combined with its vast customer base, has the potential to breathe new life into the world of pursuits.
„Like your other devices, Macs, iPads, iPhones and watches, this represents a new way to interact digitally with others and with applications,” says Ramon Llamas, director of market research firm IDC. “And how [el mercado] For all intents and purposes, while still in its early stages, Apple will help shape the narrative of what AR/VR can be and monetize devices and services.”
Apple’s long-standing commitment to augmented reality
Apple CEO Tim Cook has long expressed interest in augmented reality.
In a 2016 interview with The Washington Post, Cook said: „I think AR is a very interesting and important technology. So, yes, we’re doing a lot of things behind the scenes that we’ve talked about.”
A Interview Speaking to GQ earlier this year, Cook discussed the potential for augmented reality to help people communicate and collaborate with each other.
„If we’re sitting here brainstorming and suddenly look at something digitally and start collaborating and creating with it, we can collaborate on something very easily,” he said.
The early potential of augmented reality can be seen in some iPhone apps like Ikea Place and Measure, as well as several Apple Watch apps. For example, iPhone users can point the device’s camera at a table and a virtual tape measure will appear, allowing them to take their measurements.
On Monday, Apple will be able to show how it plans to take augmented reality to the next level.
Apparently, Apple’s viewer will have two main functions: a virtual reality environment and a mixed reality component that allows users to see augmented reality objects projected onto the real world. According to Bloomberg, the device, called Reality One or Reality Pro, will have an iOS-like interface, display high-speed video and Includes cameras and sensors Allows users to control it with their hands, eye movements and Siri.
According to Bloomberg, Apple’s new headsets will also include apps for gaming, fitness, and meditation, and will offer access to iOS apps like Messages, FaceTime, and Safari. For example, with the FaceTime option, the headsets can „display the user’s face and entire body in virtual reality,” according to Bloomberg, creating the feeling that the two are „in the same room.”
The rumored audience can attract more consumers when they drop in price or introduce enough compelling apps and experiences. But in the beginning, the audience may be less.
Some experts believe that Apple’s rumored viewer could have more resonance in the business market and enable a variety of applications such as training and education. And it can enable meeting collaboration with tools like high-speed video conferencing capabilities and virtual whiteboards.
„The enterprise market is excited about a new headset, especially one that can bring strong support for developers and content,” said Eric Abruzze, research director at ABI Research, a market research firm focused on AR and VR. „So it’s a great time for that market.”
An uncertain market
For now, the global scope market remains small. Last year, 8.8 million virtual and augmented reality headsets were sold worldwide. Information From market research firm IDC. This is 21% less than the previous year.
By comparison, Apple is estimated to sell Hundreds of millions iPhones per year.
Facebook parent Meta, which dominates the growing virtual reality market, also faces challenges. He has come under pressure from investors for losing billions on VR products and his efforts to create a virtual world known as the „Metaverse.” Wall Street Journal reported Last year Meta’s VR socializing app Horizon Worlds had just over 200,000 active users.
This Thursday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to get ahead of Apple’s announcement by introducing the viewer. Meta Quest 3 ($499), more affordable, it ensures improved performance, new mixed reality features and a sleek, comfortable design.
Other headsets and smart glasses have struggled over the years. Google recently stopped selling Glass, a decade after it was introduced. Snapchat’s parent company, which has invested heavily in developing smart sunglasses, initially lost nearly $40 million on excess inventory of the product.
Abruzze said the first wave of demand for Apple’s headsets could come from die-hard Apple fans who are deep into the company’s product ecosystem and see value in bundling Apple services with new headsets.
Apple could then push a „mass-market headset” in 2024 or 2025, Abruzzi said.
As with previous Apple hardware products, consumers don’t always flock to the first-generation version. Developers need time to create apps that appeal to a wide audience.
However, unlike any other company, Apple can create demand for an experimental new product or category. Apple also has a secret weapon that many of its competitors don’t: hundreds of stores where customers can walk in and try out the headsets.
„Apple doesn’t have to do much more than apple,” says Abruzzi. „There will be interest.”