Apple's Mixed Reality Headset Is Not What You Are Expecting…

Johnny Reid
Sep 28, 2022

Apple's MR Device Is Facing Further Production Delays...

Mixed Reality Device Market Overview. Apple vs Microsoft.

Meta and Oculus are focused on the Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) metaverse and fully immersing users’ into the digital world. Apple and Microsoft are not as interested… 

Their focus seems to be in conquering the enterprise level mixed reality head-mounted display (HMD) market–and for good reason. Microsoft sold roughly 200k Hololens 2 units in 2021, with over half of those going to the United States Military. The practical applications for mixed reality are endless. 

Various reports from trusted sources state that Apple has not started prototype testing for its "AR glasses". The report says that P2 prototype testing was expected in the first quarter of 2021. However, it isn't clear how much credence we should give this report. The device that had been set for a 2021 announcement was rumored to be AR Glasses like the Ray-Ban Stories. The device that will likely be announced by Apple later in 2022 will be a different one altogether – a mixed reality headset.

consumer mixed reality experience overlay

How will it measure up to Microsoft’s HoloLens 2?

Though Apple’s mixed reality headset has reportedly been postponed to the end of 2022 for announcement and preorders and will most likely start to ship units out in Q1 of 2023, rumors about the new headset show it has the potential to build on the foundation Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 has set.

It could weigh less than 150 grams, according to a research note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. That would make it much lighter than many other headsets on the market, including the Oculus Quest 2 and Microsoft's HoloLens 2. 

The new Apple MR headset could cost as much as $3,000–a prohibitive price for most consumer markets–which aligns with a headset that targets industrial markets, which are currently owned by Microsoft and it’s Hololens 2. The device looks to use a significant amount of power and will require a 96W USB-C power adapter, similar to current Macbook Pro models. This is intriguing as it compares to the power needed for Microsoft’s Hololens 2, the direct competitor to Apple’s new MR HMD. 

Apple Glass will feature eye-tracking technology, various advanced sensors, and more than a dozen cameras to both track your hand movements and capture footage. The device may also feature an 8K “innovative three-display configuration” combining one AMOLED panel and two Micro OLED displays. If this turns out to be true, it resembles the Varjo XR-3 and differs significantly from its main competitor, the Hololens 2’s, optical see-through holographic lenses. 

The idea is that by tracking the eye movement, the headset will be able to render the user’s environment in increased fidelity. This means that resources like processing power can be channeled more efficiently instead of spread out to areas that aren't being used. 

In a patent titled “Tunable and foveated lens systems” granted on January 11th, 2022 the manufacturer may implement technology in Apple Glass to adjust to correct the wearer’s vision. This system uses a stack of lenses for each eye, allowing for vision correction. The stack could include a liquid crystal adjustable lens, an Alvarez lens or a fluid filled lens. Multiple layers (3 to 6 orientations) of electrodes will allow the lens to adjust light precisely depending on what vision corrections are needed.

apple glass mr hmd rendering

Apple's Mixed Reality HMD Is Facing Further Production Delays...

Apple is doing what they do best–they’re analyzing the market for the best timing of their product launch. Waiting stands to benefit Apple in another way: as 5G networks continue to develop, faster speeds and lower latency will provide a better environment to support AR, VR, and MR.

As of now it is still up in the air regarding Apple and their extended reality devices. Will they release their Mixed Reality headset on time? With recent reports citing more production delays; looking like a 2023 release is more likely with a potential announcement at the end of this year. What plans are in store for Apple MR Device? What will it be called: Apple Glass - Apple Vision - iSight - Apple Lens - Apple View? Time will tell.

As of May 23rd 2022, a new update from our sources say that the board of directors at Apple were shown their new AR/VR glasses. This is convenient timing with WWDC starting June 6th. Could it finally be the announcement the world has been waiting for? One more thing... *Cue Tim Cook Coming Out With Glasses On*