As we know, Apple didn’t give any clue about their upcoming Apple AR/VR headset, not even a surprise teaser. However, the current report comes from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a tech journalist who has a strong proven record of accurately reporting on Apple’s product plans.
“I imagine a virtual reality version of FaceTime where you can be in a conference room with dozens of people,” Gurman explained. “Instead of seeing their actual faces, you’ll see 3D versions of them (Memojis). I assume the headset will be able to determine a person’s facial expressions in real time, making the experience fairly lifelike. I would also look for heavy use of SharePlay in the new realityOS, allowing multiple headset wearers to experience music, movies and games together.”
Memojis are customizable cartoon-like avatars that use augmented reality to map themselves to your facial expressions, first introduced in 2018. Meanwhile, SharePlay debuted in 2021 and gives everyone on a group FaceTime call a single set of playback controls. This allows users to watch a movie or listen to music in real-time.
These features are compatible with what Gurman has already stated. Gurman predicted that communications will be at the core of Apple’s AR/VR headset in January 2022, claiming that “Animojis and a VR FaceTime-like experience” would make it “the new-age Zoom.”
Apple may be hoping that by integrating Memoji and SharePlay, its headset would deliver a familiar experience to anyone who has already joined a FaceTime call.
The theory goes that the more people are familiar with these features, the easier it will be to introduce Apple’s AR/VR headset. And, given the headset isn’t expected to arrive until 2023, Apple has plenty of time to prepare us.