Tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that the upcoming headset will launch in Q2 of next year and will feature 15 onboard cameras.
This past April, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that augmented reality (AR) technology is “critically important” for the future of the company. During last week’s WWDC, the company flexed its AR muscles even further with the reveal of AR navigation for Apple Maps, an easy-to-use 3D modeling tool called RealityKit Object Capture, and ARKit 5 with improved face tracking and motion capture.
It’s obvious that Apple is working hard to build an AR ecosystem of amazing tools powered by products such as the iPhone or iPad.
That being said, there have also been a lot of rumors floating around about the company launching its own set of mixed reality glasses. At one point, rumors began circulating about a potential mid-2021 release. However, according to the latest report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has over 10 years of experience reporting on Apple, information recently gathered from supply chains now indicates a possible Q2 2022 release for the highly-anticipated mixed reality hardware.
This date makes sense for a couple of reasons. For one, Apple’s latest AR tools are just getting into the hands of developers. Delaying its mixed reality glasses could give creators enough time to familiarize themselves with the new platform and begin crafting AR experiences that will be ready at launch. This timeline also makes sense when you take into account supplier availability. In a new report by MacRumors, the publication points out how Genius Electronic Optical, a key lens supplier for numerous companies, will benefit from the launch of upcoming AR and VR projects from Facebook and Sony.
“We predict that Apple will launch AR HMD [head-mounted display] devices in Q2 2022. The device will provide a video see-through AR experience, so the lens is also needed, and Genius is also a key supplier,” the report says.
In addition to mixed reality functionality, it’s also possible that the headset will offer hand and eye-tracking thanks to a number of cameras located both inside and outside the glasses. According to past reports, the number of onboard cameras could be as high as 15.
According to Kuo, “As well as collecting data from the outside world, Apple is expected to precisely track the user’s eye movements. This will allow them to increase apparent rendering fidelity by targeting only what the user is currently looking at, rather than the entire human field of view. This technique is called foveated rendering.”
In Kuo’s previous report, he stated that the mixed reality headset would cost approximately $1,000. That detail still hasn’t changed. As for the hardware’s primary target demographic, it’s still too early to tell. It’s entirely possible that Apple’s AR glasses will be marketed as a high-end device designed specifically for enterprise use, and not made for the general consumer.
Feature Image Credit: Future