Apple’s next big thing is finally here, with the company set to announce its mixed-reality headset at WWDC . Over the past two decades or so, Apple Inc. has released a number of industry-shifting products: the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, a the iPad in 2010 and the Apple Watch in 2015.
The company hopes to do it all over again — this time with its first mixed-reality headset. While no product will ever live up to the iPhone, the headset has the potential to usher in a new era: It could kick off the shift to a different interface that upends how people work, play games, and entertain themselves.
It’s also a risky endeavour that could backfire for Apple. Mixed-reality headsets are still a nascent field, and many people are hesitant to wear a computer on their face. The Apple device also will have design quirks, such as an external battery pack, and a price tag of roughly $3,000. Moreover, it may not have a “killer app” when it launches.
While it might take three or five years for a headset to become a hit, it’s hard to bet against the company’s marketing, engineering, and sales prowess. If anyone can make this product category a success, it’s Apple.
The headset announcement will be part of Apple’s keynote address at its Worldwide Developers Conference, and it’s likely to be a long presentation — more than two hours — to jam everything in. Beyond the headset, Apple must cover myriad changes to its software platforms and the company is expected to roll out other new hardware, such as fresh Macs.
This structure has been under construction for weeks and is quite large. The company built a similar structure for the Apple Watch launch in 2014.