Apple is most definitely unveiling the long-rumored Reality Pro at WWDC on Monday, their first new product segment in years. There have been countless rumors about the device detailing software features, functionality, and the eye-watering $3,000 price tag but, unlike most Apple rumor waves, very little on the design.
In anticipation of the event, we have compiled every rumor and every patent and made a realistic look at what we could expect on Monday.
Over two years ago, The Information had an extensive report that detailed the design of a late-stage prototype and other specifications that were to be expected. With this report, they released the infamous sketch we all know and love: an artist’s rendering based on the images of a headset prototype. I was tired of seeing this sketch in every article, so I decided to create my 3D render based on this sketch, which I’m sure we are all tired of seeing now.
At the time, this image served us well; however, there are various rumors we have gotten over the past couple of months that paint a clearer picture of what we expect.
We are still anticipating an aluminum frame with a curved glass front; however, with many different sources comparing the design to ski goggles, we decided to lean into that and change the frame’s shape to resemble a pair of typical ski goggles. We are left with a thin and sleek device that looks remarkably similar to an Apple Watch, AirPods Max, and even, as our resident jokester Zac Hall puts it, “an iPhone 6 after a couple of hours of use.”
In addition to this new overall shape, we have increasingly heard about two physical buttons, a Digital Crown-like input on the right side and a button on the left side. The Digital Crown, rumored to be called the “Reality Dial,” is there for switching between VR and AR views, and the side button will likely be used for functions in software.
There should also be a tandem of sensors and cameras, cleverly disguised in the frame, and behind the back glass front panel, which by some, is believed to have a screen on the front to show the user’s expression. Some rightfully think this is simply an internal joke between engineers and not a real feature of the device.
The “Apple Watch” style strap does seem to be coming, but there are a few distinct differences this time around in the renders. For one, the left side of the strap is one piece, and the only way to remove the strap is on the right side.
While not the initial plan, the headset will not feature a battery; instead, one will have to wear a battery pack connected to the headset at all times. You will also find a clasp on the right side that doubles as the charger. We imagined this looking much like the inductive Apple Watch charger.
Last, but certainly not least, the displays are rumored to be a game changer. Ross Young reported yesterday that they would be Micro OLED, 1.4-inch diagonally, 4K per eye, and have over 5000 nits of brightness. It’s important to note that while the displays will need to get this eye in actual use, the perceived brightness will be far lower due to polarization in the lens stack, usually around 80% to 90%.
There are just a few more days until WWDC 2023, and I could not be more excited to see what Apple has been working on for all these years.
Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference keynote address will take place on Monday, June 5, at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. Keep it locked to 9to5Mac for comprehensive coverage leading up to the event. We’ll also be onsite for WWDC 2023 all week long.
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