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Apple’s VR/AR headset will dominate WWDC without being there

We might not see the actual headset, but Apple’s headset could still dominate WWDC 2022.

apple ceo tim cook standing on stage holding an iphone while wearing an apple watch
Image: Apple

Apple’s long-awaited VR/AR headset probably won’t be shown off at WWDC today, but there’s a good chance the company will show off some of the software tools that will be used with the device.

The VR/AR headset has been a long-rumored project for years now. As we get closer to its inevitable release, it makes sense that WWDC 2022 will be somewhat overshadowed by the headset, even without technically being there.

There will be no VR/AR headset from Apple until next year, according to The New York Times. Their report says that “challenges with battery power” are the culprit.

READ MORE: Apple’s mixed-reality headset is likely coming in January 2023

The report also talks about earlier versions of the headset. Those versions were “hobbled by weak computing power.” That shouldn’t be a problem for the current version, which is reportedly using M1-levels of computing power.

That matches up with a report from Bloomberg in January of this year, which said that overheating was an issue.

A report from Tom’s Guide says that the design might not be what you expect. They say Apple has added an outer-facing screen to show the wearer’s eyes and facial expressions. We can’t help but remember these horrifying prototypes made by Meta’s Reality Labs last year.

With so much riding on the project, it’s wise for Apple to delay things until they have a physical product that will match consumer expectations. That’s not to say WWDC won’t talk about the mixed-reality headset, however.

What we expect to hear about is the ecosystem for developing apps and experiences for the headset. We’ll see tools for developers to add new camera and voice functionality to their apps. That will be key for a hands-free interface on the headset.

We’ll also possibly hear about new video content that will be created by Apple. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long. WWDC 2022 starts today, June 6, at 10 AM PDT.

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