The headset should launch in 2022, but rumours about how it operates are conflicting
Apple’s augmented reality headset will be as powerful as the Mac and will be launched in 2022, according to a leaked report.
A research note from Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo reportedly seen by 9to5Mac says that the headset will have a processor “with the same computing power level as the Mac”.
The headset will be able to operate independently without relying on a Mac or an iPhone, and supports a “comprehensive range of applications rather than specific applications”.
Apple’s goal, Kuo suggests, is to replace the iPhone with augmented reality technology within a decade.
“The higher-end processor will have similar computing power as the M1 for Mac, whereas the lower-end processor will be in charge of sensor-related computing”, he also says.
The headset will have two Sony 4K micro OLED displays potentially support virtual reality applications.
“Apple’s AR headset requires a separate processor as the computing power of the sensor is significantly higher than that of the iPhone. For example, the AR headset requires at least 6-8 optical modules to simultaneously provide continuous video see-through AR services to users. In comparison, an iPhone requires up to three optical modules running simultaneously and does not require continuous computing”, the note reportedly says.
The headset will be positioned as an independent product in itself, rather than an accessory for other Apple products, in order to encourage growth, the report claims.
However, previous reports about the product has suggested that it would rely on an iPhone to perform its functions, similar to the first Apple Watches.
Other leaks suggest that Apple is in fact planning two distinct versions of the headset. The first will offer high end VR capabilities but at a high price, which could be aimed at developers.
The more mainstream version would have smaller hardware and a lower price point, aimed primarily at augmented reality is expected to follow later.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment from The Independent before time of publication.
As well as Apple, Facebook has also said it is working on a pair of augmented reality glasses called Project Aria, which would “add a 3D layer of useful, contextually-relevant and meaningful information on top of the physical world”.