Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts in a new research note TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, that Apple will release its long-rumored “helmet-type” mixed reality headset next year, augmented reality glasses by the year 2025, and an AR contact lens product by 2030-2040.
“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. 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 writes in the note, according to MacRumors.
Kuo added that while several prototypes of Apple’s mixed reality headset weigh between 200 and 300 grams. However, if Apple can find a solution to some technical problems, the headset could end up weighing between 100 and 200 grams, which would be significantly lighter than many existing VR devices. Due to a complex design, Kuo expects the headset’s price to be around $1,000 in the United States, in line with the price of a “high-end iPhone.”
Kuo believes Apple’s headset has the potential to provide an “immersive experience that is significantly better than existing VR products” as Kuo says 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.”
He said that the headset will be portable but not mobile like an iPhone and expects technological improvements to enhance mobility in the future.
Last month, a report by The Information showed that the headset would be equipped with more than many cameras for tracking hand movements, along with advanced eye-tracking technology and two ultra-high-resolution 8K displays.
“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, 2025 is the earliest that Kuo expects it to launch, and he believes there is “no prototype yet.” Last, he also looked far into the future and predicted that Apple would launch “contact lenses” at some point after 2030.
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