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Apple's mixed-reality headset has reached 'advanced' stage of development

Apple MR headset render

Apple recently showed its upcoming mixed-reality headset to members of its board of directors, suggesting that the device is nearing completion and could be ready for a launch soon.

The iPhone maker demonstrated the AR/VR head-worn wearable to its eight board members earlier in May, Bloomberg reported Thursday. That alone is a sign that the device, which has long been in the rumor mill for years, has reached an advanced stage of development.

In addition to work on the actual device, Apple has also reportedly ramped up development of the headset's operating system, which could be dubbed "RealityOS."

The Apple VR headset is expected to be a premium device that's lighter and more comfortable to wear than competing visors. It'll feature a pair of 4K OLED displays, 15 different camera modules, and powerful silicon more akin to Apple's M1 than its A series of chips.

Additionally, it's expected to have advanced functionality such as eye tracking and support for detecting hand gestures. The headset won't come cheap, with one expected price of around $3,000.

The device could be followed by a much smaller and more augmented reality-focused "Apple Glass" model, though rumors of that device have died off in the last couple of years. The $3,000 MR headset is said to be more focused on gaming and VR experiences.

Development of the headset has not been easy for Apple, however. A report from Tuesday indicated that the company repeatedly hit technical and staffing snags. But since it first showed off prototypes of the device to board members in 2016, it appears that the headset has finally reached an advanced stage of development.

According to Bloomberg, the device could see an announcement as early as the end of 2022. However, it likely won't be ready for a full consumer launch until 2023.