It's not just Qualcomm and Facebook who look set to be getting on on the VR and AR action as the long-rumoured Apple AR headset could be announced sooner than you'd think.
Here's the latest on what looks to be one of the biggest developments on AR and VR in quite a long time.
When Is the Apple AR Headset Being Announced?
If reliable Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman is to be believed, the Apple AR headset could be announced in Q4 2022.
In his latest Power On newsletter (via 9To5Mac), Gurman touted that the headset's release strategy could follow a similar pattern to that of the original Apple Watch back in 2014/15 in that may be announced at the end of 2022, but take until the middle of 2023 to get to consumers.
Why Is There Such A Delay Between The Announcement and Release?
There have been some possible reasons cited by Gurman as to why this release delay could occur. For one, Apple could face issues with producing the first generation of a new product (like with the Apple Watch) and they need to partner with governments on prescription lenses, too.
In addition, he states that Apple will need to partner not only with governments but also with a slew of manufacturers on complex tech that all sides have little to no experience in shipping, and this could also cause delays.
Apple AR Headset Specs
The specs of Apple's AR headset haven't leaked as of yet, unlike the potential release date, but there have been some early murmurs about what we could potentially expect.
Gurman has stated the headset "will have a complex, expensive-to-build design, complete with interchangeable lenses" which certainly suggests it'll be a rather powerful headset.
Reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also detailed a bit more about the headset, stating it will have "the same computing power level as the Mac" with two processors, a higher-end one that will be M1-like in performance, and a second, lower-end one for sensor computing.
On the front of its display, he has stated it will have two Sony 4K Micro OLED displays which suggest it could also support VR.
Opinion: Apple's AR Headset Could Be Exactly What Augmented And Virtual Reality Need
There's no real denying that Apple's new rumoured AR headset sounds incredible with its ludicrous processing power and possible VR support, and in all honesty, this could be exactly what the world of AR and VR tech has been crying out for.
For far too long, AR and VR have been gimmicks in the arsenal of tech firms and apps. Using VR and AR tech has been something cool, but there's been no real purpose behind it. Take Google's ability if you search for an animal like a shark, if you're on your phone, you can then bring that shark up in AR. Cool, right?
However, that's as far as current mainstream development has gone. It's only arguably with events like Facebook Connect and early metaverse plans from firms such as Microsoft and that overall realisation that the notion of alternate realities is more than a gimmick as to why suddenly so much progress is looking to have been made in the sector.
Apple's AR headset provides a chance for them to once again lead the charge in an exciting new development and cement themselves as market leaders across a range of different types of tech. They're already there with phones, tablets and arguably with laptops in the eyes of consumers thanks to a unique blend of functional products backed up by gorgeous design.
There is one small problem with this, though. If Ming-Chi Kuo is to be believed, this AR headset is part of a wider Apple vision to replace the iPhone with AR in the next decade. If that occurs, Apple may eliminate arguably the core element of their current business and be left with little place to go.
By that time though, the tech landscape is sure to have changed again and maybe phones won't be as important as they are now. If the current rate of pace of innovation for VR and AR is sustained for the next decade, we'll be making great strides in that space and it is plausible that people may be able to run their life from a headset or a pair of glasses. Maybe Google's Project Explorer wasn't so far wrong all those years ago.
In addition, the high spec setup of Apple's AR headset is also another reason to be excited. 2022 could be the year VR gets generally more powerful, especially with the Meta Quest Pro headset, which is touted as being Project Cambria's release date potentially being then. It looks like the tech giants could be in for a slobber knocker of a battle to claim early supremacy in the space
If Apple's AR headset does get announced next year with their usual fanfare, there's a great chance that a lot of people, consumers and manufacturers alike will take a lot of notice of Apple's plans and ideas for the future. Let's just hope it goes smoothly, and soon enough, we could be looking at a new dawn for the world of alternate realities.
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