22 January 2021
Apple is widely rumored to be working on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets for years. Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known research analyst, has published new research notes predicting the company's roadmap for the future. He reveals that Apple has a mixed-reality (MR) headset, AR glasses, and even contact lenses under development.
Kuo says Apple has plans to release a mixed-reality headset by the end of 2022. It is said to be like a helmet in terms of design and will let users enjoy both augmented and virtual reality experiences. It is in the prototype stage for now and weighs around 200 to 300 grams. The team is hoping to release it with a weight of about 100 to 200 grams but they need to solve certain technical problems to achieve that. If it is able to do so, these will be one of the lightest headsets in the market.
The mixed-reality headset will feature Sony Micro-LED display panels and different optical modules. It will have independent computing power and storage that will make it a portable headset. Overall, it is reported to have a complex design as compared to the competition and thus, it is expected to cost around $1,000 in the United States.
Apple's first pair of AR glasses are tipped to release no sooner than 2025. In fact, Kuo says that there is not even a prototype of the product yet. It seems like these glasses will actually work in connection with mobile for providing AR experiences. The company is also said to be hoping to integrate these with Apple Car, another future project that is under development.
Lastly, Apple has AR-powered contact lenses in the pipeline which are expected to arrive between 2030 and 2040. There is not much known about this particular product but Kuo believes it unlikely that they will have their own processing power and storage space. They are expected to rely on some other device like an iPhone to work.