Gurman: Apple AR/VR headsets will support FaceTime

Mark Gurman, Memojis, and SharePlay may be the core experience of the FaceTime feature in Apple's long-rumored mixed reality headset. Gurman has previously said that Apple's mixed reality headset will focus on gaming, media content, and communications. The product itself is rumored to run "rOS" or "RealityOS," internally codenamed "Oak."

In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman spelled out his expectations for "FaceTime" in RealityOS, saying it could revolve around two of Apple's existing cores: Memojis and SharePlay.

We can imagine a virtual reality version of FaceTime, where you can be in one room (a conference room) with dozens of people. But what you see is not their real faces, but their three-dimensional faces (Memojis). I think VR headsets will be able to determine a person's facial expressions in real-time and make for a fairly realistic experience. I also expect Apple to introduce a lot of SharePlay operations in the new operating system, such as multi-player experience of music, movies, and games.

Apple has been rumored to be working on real-OS since 2017, and this week developer found references to the OS in App Store upload logs and Apple's open-source code, finally confirming the OS's exist.

Apple introduced Memojis in iOS 12 in 2018, and SharePlay was an update that rolled out with iOS 15.1 last year.

Speculation suggests that many of the new features Apple has released in recent years, such as ARKit, AR walking directions in Apple Maps, spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, and LiDAR scanners, will all be coming to its AR in the long run / VR headsets to help users perform some familiar actions faster, and Memoji and SharePlay seem likely to be part of this strategy as well.

Despite being enthusiastic about this year's "coming soon" Apple's headphone project, Gurman now has development issues that will likely delay the device's launch until WWDC 2023.

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