Apple and Samsung are about to engage in a heated rivalry across a new market segment, as both companies are developing mixed-reality (XR) headsets. This time, however, Apple might take the emerging XR market by storm before Samsung does, and a new report reveals that the Cupertino giant has thrown everything at has at its first mixed-reality wearable, including several high-profile executives.
The so-called Reality Pro or Reality One mixed-reality headset developed by Apple will reportedly be unveiled on June 5 at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2023 (via Gadgets360). The headset is enabled by a new operating system dubbed xrOS, and it, too, will supposedly be showcased at WWDC.
If true, and if the Reality Pro / One makes its first appearance on June 5, Apple will undercut Samsung and beat it to an official XR announcement by at least a few months.
Earlier this year, Samsung teased that it is working on its own mixed-reality headset. It's not developing it alone, with both Google and Qualcomm also being involved in the project. However, Samsung hasn't said much about this device since, and only Google reminded us at its recent I/O conference — where the Pixel Fold got announced — that it is planning to unveil a new XR project in collaboration with Samsung and “will share more later this year.”
Apple is betting on its XR headset's success
Although Apple apparently used Samsung's Gear VR headset in its experiments during the Reality Pro / One's early development, rumors say that Apple's XR headset is a much more ambitious powerhouse.
The Reality Pro supposedly has dual 4K OLED displays, 12 cameras that track the user's body movement and eyes, and an M2 chip. It doesn't house a smartphone like the Gear VR did, and it should work as a powerful stand-alone XR device.
Furthermore, a new Bloomberg report says that Apple assigned numerous top executives to the XR project since its early inception in 2015. Names include Mike Rockwell, Jeff Williams, Dan Riccio, Paul Meade, Fletcher Rothkopf, Ray Chang, Greg Joswiak, Phil Shiller, Frank Casanova, Kim Vorrath, Jeff Norris, Johny Srouji, Shannon Gans, and Geoff Stahl. Even Jony Ive was involved with the XR project up until his contract with Apple ended about a year ago.
The so-called Reality One will be Apple's biggest product release since the Apple Watch, and the company appears to be very serious about its success. Hopefully, Samsung will be able to compete with its own headset, given the company's history with VR and AR devices. The Korean tech giant should have more to say about its mixed-reality experience later this year, but Apple might be the first to unveil the product it's been working on for the past eight years.