Apple May Be Creating Its Own Metaverse-Like World For Mixed-Reality Headsets

Apple notoriously dislikes the term metaverse, but that may not stop it from developing its own interactive virtual world for its upcoming mixed-reality headsets. Assuming nothing changes at the last minute, all signs point toward Apple's high-end (and likely very expensive) headsets arriving in the first half of 2023, and at least one of them may pack the company's M2 chip. We've been hearing about Apple's mixed-reality headsets for years, and the rumors have painted an increasingly clear picture. At one point it was expected the first headset would hit the market in 2020, but that didn't pan out.

Assuming the latest reports are true, Apple's mixed-reality product may enter production in early 2023, which means we may finally get a WWDC announcement. The physical hardware is only part of the equation, however, as the software will play just as important of a role. According to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has been hiring people to build up the software side of things, and one of those projects may involve the company's own take on the metaverse ... just don't call it the metaverse.

Apple's mixed-reality headset may have its own 3D world

It's hard to say exactly what Apple plans for its headsets. Back in January, Gurman said that sources had revealed Apple wasn't going to make a metaverse for its mixed-reality platform, something seemingly underscored by Apple's absence from the Metaverse Standards Forum. In his latest Power On newsletter, however, Gurman reports that Apple is ramping up its work on the software aspect of its upcoming mixed-reality headsets and that the effort involves, among other things, the development of a "3D mixed-reality world." It's hard to interpret that as anything other than the metaverse — one that'll blend in real-world elements, in this case.

Citing job listings, Gurman also reports that Apple has described projects that, among other things, make it clear things like Shortcuts and Siri — both found on the company's existing devices — will also be part of its mixed-reality platform. There's also talk of some type of video service that'll reportedly be made available to headset owners, serving as a portal to unspecified "3D content" that will revolve around VR.

Don't expect to run out and buy an Apple headset with the same budget that would get you a Quest or even a Valve Index, however. Reports consistently point to a headset that may cost up to $3,000, as it will reportedly be a high-end product packing potentially the best hardware thus far offered in a VR/AR product. Gurman points toward past rumors claiming that, among other things, the realityOS headset may have 10+ cameras, and it may be called Reality Pro, while a different headset may be called Reality One.