This does not necessarily mean that a headset will be announced at WWDC next month. However, it could indicate that such an announcement is near.
Bloomberg states a historical precedent for the board to see devices just before an announcement. According to reports, Apple’s board received a demonstration of Siri early in 2011.
Apple doesn’t want software development to be completed until it has the hardware and software in place. Bloomberg claims that Apple has “accelerated development” of Reality OS, or ROS, an operating system that will run on the headset. Another reason that a software push could indicate the device is in its final stages is because it’s easier to let hints and traces leak out of the software before an announcement. We have seen ROS in iOS 13 beta builds before, and logs show it.
The exact date of the announcement is not yet known.
The device was in development for some time. The Information story recently published shows that Apple board members were able to test a few prototype AR/VR devices in 2016. Although the report clarifies that these were very early-stage devices (some were modified HTC Vives, and one had a crane to lift the headset’s weight off the board members’ necks), they were primarily intended to demonstrate the concept and get funding. Bloomberg reports that the headset’s release to consumers is scheduled for late in 2023. The prototype shown was probably closer to its final form.
According to leaked information, it will be capable of immersing yourself in virtual content and adding virtual elements to the real world, most likely via a pass-through camera feed. The information reported will feature AirPods Max-Esque fabric mesh and a headband that resembles an Apple Watch loop.
Ming-Chi Kuo, a noted analyst, has also suggested that the M1-class chip is used to power it. This is consistent with Bloomberg’s report earlier this year, which stated that Apple had to delay the announcement due to “challenges related to content and overheating” and difficulties getting cameras to work correctly. We may finally see the next generation of Apple’s devices after years of waiting.