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Apple's augmented reality headset will launch spring 2022


Apple’s augmented reality headset that could cost $1,000 will launch in spring of 2022

  • Apple’s AR headset could launch as soon as Q2 2022, one analyst said
  • The device would be a head-mounted display, used for both VR and AR 
  • Speculation has swirled around cost; some expect the device to sell for $1,000 
  • It is expected to be a segue to Apple’s eventual AR glasses, Apple Glass  
  • Apple Glass is not expected to be ready until 2025 at the earliest 

Apple’s oft-rumored augmented reality headset could launch as soon as the second quarter of 2022, according to one analyst.

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a head-mounted display (HMD), which will be used for both virtual and augmented reality, is likely to ship in the first-part of next year, according to 9to5Mac, which first reported the news. 

‘We predict that Apple will launch AR HMD devices in 2Q22. The device will provide a video see-through AR experience, so the lens is also needed, and Genius is also a key supplier,’ Kuo wrote in the note.

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WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AR AND VR?

Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of an environment or situation

  • It immerses the user by making them feel like they are in the simulated reality through images and sounds
  • For example, in VR, you could feel like you’re climbing a mountain while you’re at home

In contrast, augmented reality layers computer-generated images on top of an existing reality

  • AR is developed into apps to bring digital components into the real world
  • For example, in the Pokemon Go app, the characters seem to appear in real world scenarios

Speculation has swirled around the cost of the device, with Kuo expecting it cost approximately $1,000.

Others have suggested the price could be higher. For comparison purposes, Microsoft’s mixed-reality HoloLens 2 headset retails for $3,500.  

A 2019 patent application from Apple suggests the firm is considering technology described as a ‘Display Device’ that uses a ‘reflective holographic combiner’.

This holographic technology could more seamlessly blend objects rendered in the headset’s display, increasing the depth-of-field and reducing the resulting eyestrain and nausea often associated with AR and VR.

The aforementioned headset is expected to be a segue to Apple’s eventual augmented reality glasses, known simply as Apple Glass.

Apple is hosting its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this week and mentions of augmented reality were conspicuous by their absence at the keynote address, held on Monday.

In the past, the tech giant has mentioned the technology prominently during recent keynotes, but did not do so this year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has talked about the power of augmented reality for several years.

In April, Cook told tech journalist Kara Swisher the tech is ‘critically important’ to the company’s future. 

In 2020, leaker and technology analyst Jon Prosser said he saw two prototypes of the AR glasses at the company’s premises – one white and one black.

In April, Cook told tech journalist Kara Swisher that augmented reality is 'critically important' to the company's future

In April, Cook told tech journalist Kara Swisher that augmented reality is ‘critically important’ to the company’s future

A promo image released by the tech giant in March shows a memoji character with glasses and a reflection of the laptop in the lenses - possibly a reference to AR glasses

A promo image released by the tech giant in March shows a memoji character with glasses and a reflection of the laptop in the lenses – possibly a reference to AR glasses

Apple has long been rumored to be developing its own pair of AR glasses. The tech giant filed a patent in 2019 (pictured above) that gives a glimpse into what it may be developing behind closed doors

Apple has long been rumored to be developing its own pair of AR glasses. The tech giant filed a patent in 2019 (pictured above) that gives a glimpse into what it may be developing behind closed doors

Both models, which are described as ‘clean’ and ‘slick’ in appearance, will be 5G-compatible, Prosser said.

The AR glasses are allegedly not sunglasses but normal prescription glasses that display an interface on the inside of the lens – not dissimilar to what’s depicted in Apple’s promo image.

Wearers would be able to simply use their gaze to select apps on the AR display, which would be similar to a smartphone homepage, rumors suggest.

Anyone facing an Apple Glass-wearing user will not be able to see the AR display, which will overlay digital images over the user’s real-life surroundings.

Apple Glasses will have its own operating system called ‘Starboard’ according to Prosser, who is described as an Apple leaker ‘with sources throughout the company and supply chain’ by Apple Insider.

Kuo has said previously that Apple Glass would not make an appearance before 2025, adding the device has not yet reached the prototype phase. 





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