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We now know why Apple’s Reality Pro headset was delayed

Until last week, Apple’s Reality Pro mixed-reality headset was expected at a spring event. Yet that news was spoiled when Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman reported that the device had been pushed back to June, and he has now shared exactly why that is — along with another surprising revelation.

Why June, you ask? Well, that’s when Apple hosts its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), a massive showcase event where developers can learn about the latest Apple software releases and get hands-on in a weeklong series of demonstrations and seminars.

A rendering of four Apple mixed-reality headsets (Reality Pro) in various colors sitting on a surface.
Ahmed Chenni,

That’s a perfect time to launch the Reality Pro headset, Gurman believes, because it will put Apple face-to-face with the audience that is going to be most interested in the headset. Developers will need to create all manner of apps, games, and experiences for the product, after all, so they’re going to want to learn all about it.

If Apple had opted to launch the headset in the spring, it would only have had one day for developers to get a little closer to the action — and that’s assuming the company launched the Reality Pro at an event and not through a press release. At WWDC, however, there will be a whole week for developers to quiz Apple engineers on how the headset works and how they can develop apps for it.

In-air typing

Alan Truly smiles in this closeup, while wearing the Varjo Aero VR headset.
Photo by Tracey Truly

Aside from explaining Apple’s rationale in moving the launch date, Gurman also revealed a previously unconfirmed detail about the headset. When listing the product’s features, Gurman included “in-air typing” alongside “passthrough cameras … hand and eye control and ultra-high-resolution displays.”

That’s interesting because it’s seemingly the first confirmation that users will be able to type in midair without needing a connected Apple device (like an iPhone) or keyboard. Gurman had previously claimed Apple was working on this tech, but that it was unlikely to be ready in time for launch.

Past leaks have suggested the Reality Pro will be able to connect to a Mac and function as a sort of wearable second screen for the computer. It could also feature a Digital Crown-like switch to toggle between augmented reality and virtual reality, a pair of high-resolution displays, and a user interface that feels familiar to users of iOS and iPadOS.

Gurman previously reported that the device was delayed due to combined hardware and software issues. With a bit more breathing room until the Reality Pro launches, the pressure is on Apple to make sure the wait is worth it.

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