It may not come in time for WWDC, though.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple showed a mixed reality headset capable of both augmented and virtual reality to its board of directors last week and has engineers working on an operating system for the device, according to a report. The story notes that this doesn't necessarily mean we'll see a headset announced at WWDC next month, but it may indicate that an announcement is drawing closer.

The board has seen devices shortly before an announcement before. Apple's board got an early demo of its new voice recognition system, according to reports.

It makes sense that Apple wouldn't go all in on software development until the hardware is done, so it knows what features and software to build. The operating system that would run on the headset would be called rOS. It is easier for hints and traces of software to leak out before an announcement if the device is nearing its final stages. rOS was mentioned in the early builds of the OS, and it was also shown up in the logs.

It’s not obvious yet when the device will be announced

The device has been in the works for a long time. Apple board members got to demo a few prototype augmented and virtual reality devices in 2016 according to a story published by The Information. The report makes it clear that they were very early-stage devices, made mostly to act as a proof of concept, with one having a crane to keep the headset off the board members. It is likely that the headset shown off recently was closer to its final state than the one that will be released in late this year or early next year.

It will be able to add virtual elements to the real world through a pass-through video feed, as well as completely immerse you in virtual content. The headband looks like an Apple Watch loop and the fabric mesh is similar to the AirPods Max.

There are rumors that it is powered by an M1-class chip. This seems to match a report from earlier this year that Apple had to delay the announcement due to challenges related to content and overheating, as well as difficulties getting the cameras just right. We may be getting close to seeing Apple's next new category of device after years of waiting.