Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two technologies that Apple is taking seriously, one of which is a rumored behind-the-scenes effort while the other has already seen a big platform push with ARKit out in the wild.
Meanwhile, other companies like the Facebook-owned Oculus have been hard at work in their own VR efforts for quite some time, and now the company has just unveiled its newest headset called the “Quest”. The biggest new feature here is that it’s a standalone unit that manages to match the company’s Rift headset in terms of experience. The Rift headset is a full rig that requires a connection to a PC, while the Quest headset is completely standalone, so no smartphone or PC connection required to work.
The new Quest will arrive sometime this spring, and when it does it will cost $399. The headset supports six degrees of freedom, and will support the Oculus Touch controllers. The display resolution per eye is set at 1600×1440, and the company says the audio on the device will deliver “high-quality, immersive sound with even deeper bass”.
The new Quest headset is designed for games, and below you can watch a trailer for one of the titles heading to the headset. It’s entitled Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series, and the trailer is just below.
Oculus is certainly one of the leaders when it comes to VR headsets, but this is a market that is primed to see Apple’s eventual arrival. Rumor on the street is that the company is currently building its own standalone AR/VR headset, its own custom operating system called “rOS”, and that the device could support a pair of 8K displays. Rumors have also suggested Apple’s AR glasses could arrive sometime in 2019, so next year may be pretty exciting for this type of device if the rumors are actually true.
Tim Cook has not been shy about his love for augmented reality, seeing it as the next major feature for the end user. Virtual reality, however, hasn’t really earned his praise in the same way. Does that mean Apple isn’t working on a device that takes advantage of the technology? Not at all. In fact, it may mean Apple is trying to find new ways to invigorate it. But at least for now it looks like Apple is focusing more on AR for products than VR.