Published on March 16th, 2021 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Rumor: Apple to Launch Mixed Reality Headset in Mid 2022
The rumors about Apple’s AR/VR/MR/XR plans seem to be arriving on a monthly basis these days. With more clarification on products and timelines, this post at MacRumors by Joe Rossignol shares what is being heard in the emergent technology pipeline. At this point, it seems rather obvious that one conclusion can be drawn: Apple believes that AR/VR is not ready for mainstream use. And, it’s true. The technology is not quite there. The price point is too high for what is offered. And the devices hav a clunky and uncomfortable UX. There, it’s been said. The hardware and software developers in the industry want it to be true but it’s not. AR & VR experiences still have a way to go before most households have a device.
Apple plans to release its long-rumored mixed reality headset “in mid-2022,” followed by augmented reality glasses by 2025, well-regarded analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors.
“We predict that Apple’s MR/AR product roadmap includes three phases: helmet type by 2022, glasses type by 2025, and contact lens type by 2030–2040,” wrote Kuo. “We foresee that the helmet product will provide AR and VR experiences, while glasses and contact lens types of products are more likely to focus on AR applications.”
Kuo said several prototypes of Apple’s mixed reality headset currently weigh 200–300 grams, but he said that the final weight will be reduced to 100–200 grams if Apple can solve technical problems, which would be significantly lighter than many existing VR devices. Due to a complex design, Kuo expects the headset to be priced around $1,000 in the United States, in line with the price of a “high-end iPhone.”
In line with a previous rumor, Kuo said the headset will be equipped with Sony’s Micro-OLED displays and several optical modules to provide a “see-through AR experience,” adding that the headset can “also offer a VR experience.”
Kuo said the headset will be “portable,” with independent computing power and storage, but not truly “mobile” like an iPhone. “When the technology improves, we believe that the new helmet product can also enhance its mobility,” he said.
Kuo believes Apple’s headset has the potential to provide an “immersive experience that is significantly better than existing VR products.”
Last month, The Information reported that the headset will be equipped with more than a dozen cameras for tracking hand movements, along with two ultra-high-resolution 8K displays and advanced eye-tracking technology. The cameras would be able to pass video of the real world through the visor and display it to the user.
“Although Apple has been focusing on AR, we think the hardware specifications of this product can provide an immersive experience that is significantly better than existing VR products. We believe that Apple may highly integrate this helmet with video-related applications (e.g., Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, etc.) as one of the key selling points.”
As for Apple’s augmented reality glasses, Kuo expects a launch in 2025 at the earliest, and he believes there is “no prototype yet.”