t's been speculated that Apple’s augmented reality headset could launch as soon as the second quarter of 2022, according to one analyst.
TF International Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated a head-mounted display, which will be used for both virtual and augmented reality, is likely to ship in the second quarter of next year, as reported by 9to5Mac.
Kuo wrote in the article:
'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,'
There has been a lot of speculation around the cost of Apple’s AR headset, Kuo expects it to be retailed at around the $1,000 mark, however, other analysts have suggested that the price could be a lot higher and more inline with Microsoft's mixed-reality HoloLens 2 headset retails for $3,500.
A 2019 patent application made by Apple suggests the company is considering technology described as a 'Display Device' that uses a 'reflective holographic combiner’. The holographic tech could assist to seamlessly blend objects rendered in the headset's display, increasing the depth-of-field and reducing the resulting eyestrain and nausea often associated with VR.
Apple’s augmented reality headset is expected to come before its much anticipated Apple Glass. Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is in full swing this week and talks of augmented reality were conspicuous by their absence at the keynote address, held on Monday. Previously, Apple has mentioned the technology prominently during recent keynotes, but did not do so this year.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been talking about the power of augmented reality for several years now. In an interview in April, Cook stated that the tech is 'critically important' to Apple’s future.
Last year, one tech analyst stated that they saw two prototypes of the AR glasses at Apple’s headquarters. One was white and the other black, both pairs were described as 'clean' and 'slick' in appearance as well as being 5G-compatible. ‘Starboard’, will be the Apple Glasses own operating system. The AR glasses are reported to be normal prescription glasses which display an interface on the inside of the lens, not dissimilar to what's depicted in Apple's promo image.
Users would be able to simply use their gaze to select apps on the AR displays, which would be similar to a smartphone homepage, rumours suggest. Those looking at someone wearing the Apple Glass will not be able to see the AR display, which will overlay digital images over the user’s real-life surroundings.Kuo has said previously that Apple Glass would not make an appearance before 2025, adding the device has not yet reached the prototype phase.