When it comes to the world of ferreting out details about Apple products that haven’t launched, one of the most successful analysts is Ming-Chi Kuo. The analyst has been offering accurate information on unannounced Apple gear going back for years, typically relying on sources within the Apple supply chain. Kuo is now predicting a future Apple augmented reality/mixed reality headset rumored to land in 2022.
The analyst says that Apple’s headset will have a total of 15 cameras integrated into it, significantly more than the 2 to 5 cameras integrated into current headsets. On augmented reality or mixed reality headsets, the cameras are a critical component as the cameras interact with the surrounding environment and allow image pass-through to the displays.
Kuo says that eight of the camera modules will be placed around the wearable device to facilitate pass-through VR, allowing users to peer through the enclosing device by seeing images from the outside beamed onto interior screens. The headset is said to use high-resolution MicroOLED displays. In addition to the eight pass-through cameras, six of the modules will provide what the analyst calls “innovative biometrics.” It’s not exactly clear what he means by innovative biometrics.
A single camera module will be used for environmental detection. Kuo expects the first generation device from Apple to launch in 2022, featuring its own processor and onboard storage. It won’t require an iPhone or Mac computer to operate. As far as pricing, the analyst expects Apple to price it around $1000.
Another rumor suggests Apple will also launch AR glasses using optical waveguide tech to overlay computer-generated graphics onto the real world called Apple Glass. That device is expected to launch in 2025 with a similar system relying on contact lenses that could launch after 2030. These rumors are predictions and don’t appear to be based on sources in the supply chain.