Executive Briefing

Apple’s ‘mixed reality’ goggles are imminent

Why they’re worth your attention and imagination.

Apple MR glasses Midjourney rendering
AI draws Apple / Illustrations: Midjourney

In a little over a month, on June 5, Apple is expected to announce its first major new platform in almost a decade: xrOS, as it’s supposedly called, will be an operating system for “mixed reality” (MR) devices — think more advanced VR headsets that can also support augmented reality (AR), drawing digital imagery on top of the outside “real” world.

Apple will also reportedly unveil its first xrOS headset — which will cost “roughly $3,000” — at the event, according to plugged-in Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman.

That means this one is designed more for early adopter-types, creative professionals, and software developers than it is for mainstream consumers (who will surely get access to less expensive headsets in the future). Even if that pricing is off by half, that’s the right move given the circumstances.

What’s interesting about xrOS and Apple’s push into mixed reality is that, when compared to the platforms it’s launched over the past 20 years — the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iCloud, Watch, AirPods — it’s by far the least far along from a “why would anyone want this?” point of view.

Still, this is an important development worth paying attention to.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

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