Apple focuses on sports, gaming and fitness apps for AR/VR headset

Julie Clover

Apple is gearing up to unveil its AR/VR mixed reality headset at WWDC in June, and the company is working on creating compelling apps to encourage people to use the device. Apple is working on dedicated apps for sports, gaming, wellness and collaboration, according to Bloomberg.

Concept render Yana Zelbo
Apple plans to adapt iPad apps for the headset, and users will be able to access existing App Store content through the device's 3D interface. Apps developed by Apple such as Safari, Calendar, Contacts, Home, Files, Messages, Notes, Photos, Music, Reminders and other built-in apps will be optimized for the device. Multiple apps can be launched at the same time, and the geolocation aspect will be used to switch between apps when the user is in different rooms.

The Fitness+ app will allow users to exercise while watching a Fitness+ instructor in a virtual reality setting, and there will also be a Health app to help users meditate with graphics, sounds, and voice-overs. With Apple's deeper advancement in sports, the focus will be on immersive viewing of MLB and MLS content, as well as a dedicated TV app for watching VR videos.

A dedicated FaceTime app is provided. an experience that will use Memoji-like avatars and virtual conference rooms, and Apple is developing a Books app for reading in virtual reality. The Camera app will be able to capture images from the headset's cameras, and the Freeform version will be adapted to a 3D interface for collaborating on projects with others.

Apple is working with a number of game developers to help them update their existing content for mixed reality, and Apple will also provide a robust set of tools for creating AR/VR experiences.

The AR/VR headset is expected to cost around $3,000, and Apple doesn't initially plan for it to sell well. In fact, the company expects to sell approximately one million units in its first year, which is low for an Apple device.

Apple employees have expressed concerns about the headset's usefulness given its price. Some wonder if this device is “a solution in search of a problem” and not “driven by the same clarity” as other Apple devices.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in early April that the Headset AR/VR is the “last resort” to convince investors that AR/VR devices will be “the next star product in consumer electronics.” Other devices from companies like Meta have lacked compelling software, and this is a major hurdle that Apple will have to overcome.

In order to get people to buy a mixed reality headset, Apple will need to convince users that the software the experience is worth it. This will require compelling in-house developments as well as innovative third-party apps from the developers.

Related Review: AR/VR HeadsetTags: Bloomberg, Mark GurmanRelated Forum: Apple Glasses, AR and VR[ 213 comments ]

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