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Apple’s coming out with a virtual reality headset. Could it change the future of computers?


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Deepfate

Apple’s coming out with a virtual reality headset. Could it change the future of computers?

The Apple Watch, as pictured in Apple’s own coffee table book about their industrial design. Will VR goggles be the company’s next masterpiece? (Apple)

GOGGLES

If the rumours are true, Apple will launch its own augmented reality/virtual reality headset next week.

Wait, really? Why would the makers of (arguably) the world’s coolest consumer electronics bother with something as perennially uncool as… VR goggles?!

It’s a good question.

REAL ANTICIPATION

VR and AR goggles aren’t new, but Apple’s rumored entry is causing a hype-storm.

As Vox put it, “the new ‘mixed-reality’ headset [that] the tech world expects Apple to unveil at its developer conference on June 5… would arguably be its most ambitious launch since the iPad in 2010.”

Actually, Apple’s ambition could be even more significant than you think.

DEARLY BELOVED

We are gathered here to say our goodbyes… to our laptops?

What if Apple's headset isn't poised to become the next cool gaming gadget, but rather the first plausible replacement for our beloved, yet still kind of bulky, laptops?

Wild, right? Well, stay with me.

THIS ACTUALLY TRACKS

Zoom out: this move fits perfectly with Apple’s history of reinventing form factors.

Apple’s high quality industrial design has always been famously inventive. In 2016, the company even published a coffee table book chronicling the work they’ve done over the decades.

But their most impressive work may be yet to drop.

VR’S FOR VIDEOGAMES, RIGHT?

Wrong. What if the future of VR is actually a super compact, lightweight, portable, well designed, fully functioning computer that you can slip into any bag —and slip onto your face whenever you want?

Seriously: What if the future of laptops… is VR?

As in, no more illuminating a dark room with the blue light of your screen, or unintentionally sharing sensitive info with nosy seatmates.

What about the keyboard? Well, tech already exists to “map” a keyboard onto any flat surface, letting you touch type just about anywhere.

LOOK AROUND

The green shoots are already out there. A startup called Sightful has already demo-ed a concept version of a “screenless laptop”. Users view their work “on the virtual equivalent of a 100-inch screen, thanks to accompanying augmented reality glasses.”

And Meta’s actually been on this for years. Zuck himself has confirmed that Meta’s Quest Pro headset’s ultimate goal is to replace your laptop. You can already pair the goggles with your laptop to give yourself a set of virtual screens.

I CAN’T SAY THAT THIS IS APPLE’S PLAY FOR SURE…

…but the more I ponder it, the more it aligns with the firm’s disruptive track record.

The killer app for Apple’s new goggles may not be a game, nor virtual meetings, but everything you currently do on your laptop.

And if Apple does it, rest assured: the rest of tech will follow.

More:

Apple’s rumored VR headset could have ridiculously high-end screens »» 

But why are they making this thing at all? »»

Apple WWDC 2023: What to expect, from iOS 17 to new MacBooks »»

The world’s first augmented reality laptop has a massive, 100-inch floating screen »»

Meta’s next VR/AR headset will ‘replace your laptop’ »»

Disclosure: I own Apple stock

Written by Jon Kallus. Any feedback? Simply reply. Like this? Share it!👇

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