Apple is following Mark Zuckerberg into the metaverse with a plan to introduce VR goggles

FILE PHOTO: An Apple logo is shown at an Apple store in Paris, France, September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo - GONZALO FUENTES/REUTERS

FILE PHOTO: An Apple logo is shown at an Apple store in Paris, France, September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo – GONZALO FUENTES/REUTERS

Apple is poised to follow Mark Zuckerberg into the Metaverse by introducing a virtual reality headset in the coming months.

The iPhone maker is expected to reveal a headset in spring that could immerse users in computer-generated worlds, Bloomberg reported.

The headset has been around for years as Apple looks for its next big innovation after the success of the iPhone.

Apple’s plans for virtual reality goggles will be compared to Mr. Zuckerberg’s decision to rename Facebook to Meta and invest billions in research into so-called metaverse technologies.

Apple CEO Tim Cook previously scoffed at Mr. Zuckerberg’s metaverse concept.

He told Dutch media in October, “I always think it’s important for people to understand what something is, and I’m not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is.”

Apple is always very honest about any future product launches, although there have been rumors for years that it’s working on a virtual reality headset.

The company’s device, which is designed to look like a pair of ski goggles, is said to enable what is known as “mixed reality,” meaning it will be capable of full virtual reality and augmented reality, where virtual images are superimposed on top of the real world.

A Meta employee demonstrates the Meta Quest Pro VR headset in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 4, 2023 - The Met Quest Pro VR headset features VR enhancements including high-resolution sensors that enable full-color mixed reality, next-gen pancake optics and advanced LCD displays.  (Photo: Robyn BECK/AFP) (Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images) - ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

A Meta employee demonstrates the Meta Quest Pro VR headset in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 4, 2023 – The Met Quest Pro VR headset features VR enhancements including high-resolution sensors that enable full-color mixed reality, next-gen pancake optics and advanced LCD displays. (Photo: Robyn BECK/AFP) (Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images) – ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

The headset has been delayed multiple times. Bloomberg reported that it was supposed to be revealed this month, but has now been pushed back to spring.

Previously reported, Apple’s headset would include a rechargeable battery that is worn around the waist, making the goggles lighter than rivals.

Several core developers have already given their first look at the device. It will come with a new operating system called xrOS. The headset could be called Reality Pro and go on sale in 2023.

Ming Chi-Kuo, an analyst covering Apple for investment manager TF Securities, said: “The development of the Apple headset is delayed … it is increasingly unlikely that Apple will hold a media event for a new device in January.”

Meta’s rebranding from Facebook has been met with skepticism, with its share price plummeting as it invests tens of billions of dollars in Mr. Zuckerberg’s metaverse concept.

The company has launched a number of virtual reality headsets on the market. Although Quest devices are popular among tech fans, they are not yet a must-have gadget.

Meta developed games and virtual worlds for its headset, but its metaverse social network, Horizon Worlds, remained barren and unpopular.

Apple has already released a number of augmented reality tools for its iPhone and iPad devices that overlay virtual images and effects on the real world.

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