Apple’s WWDC keynote is today, and the company is heavily expected to reveal an immersive headset for the first time. Here’s where to see the action live.
Apple’s WWDC keynote will be held at 10AM PT on June 5th (your timezone here). You can catch the official livestream from Apple embedded below:
Follow for Up-to-the-minute Updates
I’ll be on-site at Apple Park for the WWDC keynote, and maybe more than that… if you want the most up-to-the-minute updates for what comes after the keynote, follow along on Twitter: @benz145.
What to Expect
We’re expecting that Apple’s WWDC keynote will first focus first on its existing products, including major updates to its mobile and desktop operating systems, with the potential for a revamped 15-inch MacBook Air.
But of course the thing we’re looking for is the rumored announcement of Apple’s first XR headset, which we expect will come at the end of the keynote—though we’re still 50/50 on whether or not it’ll be preceded by the words “one more thing,” which the company hasn’t dropped since 2020.
Rumors for what an Apple XR headset might actually do or look like have varied substantially over the years, though recent leaks suggest the following:
Resolution: Dual Micro OLED displays at 4K resolution (per eye)
FOV: 120-degrees, similar to Valve Index
Chipset: Two 5nm chips. Includes a main SoC (CPU, GPU, and memory) and a dedicated image signal processor (ISP). Chips communicate via a custom streaming codec to combat latency.
Battery: Waist-mounted battery, connected via MagSafe-like power cable to the headset’s headband. Two-hour max battery life, although hot-swappable for longer sessions.
Passthrough: ISP chip contains custom high-bandwidth memory made by SK Hynix, providing low latency color passthrough
Audio: H2 chip, providing ultra-low latency connection with the second-generation AirPods Pro and future AirPods models. No 3.5mm and possible no support for non-AirPod BT headphones.
Controller: Apple is said to favor hand-tracking and voice recognition to control the headset, but it has tested a “wand” and a “finger thimble” as alternative control input methods.
Prescription Lenses: Magnetically attachable custom prescription lenses for glasses-wearers.
IPD Adjustment: Automatic, motorized adjustment to match the wearer’s interpupillary distance.
Eye Tracking: At least one camera per-eye for things like avatar presence and foveated rendering
Face & Body Tracking: More than a dozen cameras and sensors capture both facial expressions and body movements, including the user’s legs.
Room Tracking: Both short- and long-range LiDAR scanners to map surfaces and distances in three dimensions.
App Compatibility: Said to have the ability to run existing iOS apps in 2D.
It’s very likely that this is only an initial announcement of the company’s headset, with a heavy focus on what developers will be able to do with it (need we remind you, this is Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference). We don’t expect it to launch until later this year at the earliest, but when it does it’s not clear if Apple will position the device like a sort of early adopter development kit, or market it to consumers outright. The latter seems less likely considering the rumored price between $1,500–$3,000.
While Apple pretty much never launches any product as a ‘dev kit’, an XR headset might be such a shift for the company and its army of iOS developers that they will need that interim step to hone the experience ahead of a full blown push to consumers. We’ll find out soon enough.