Apple's $1000 AR headset expected in 2022, 'Apple Glass' in 2025, contact lenses in 2030

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 7
Apple will be bringing out its first foray into augmented reality hardware in mid-2022, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasts, which could be followed a few years later by the release of "Apple Glass" in 2025 and contact lenses by 2030.




Apple has been rumored to be working on its own mixed reality head-mounted displays for quite a few years. In a note to investors from TF Securities seen by AppleInsider on Sunday, it seems there may be a bit more of a wait before the public gets to enjoy the devices.

In outlining an expected roadmap for Apple's AR efforts, Ming-Chi Kuo claims AR and MR will be the "next critical technology that defines the innovative human-machine interface of electronics products." However, while virtual reality devices will be niche, MR and AR hardware is reckoned to become mainstream down the line.

Apple is thought to deploy products in AR and MR in three phases, with the first being a "helmet type" in 2022. It will be followed by a "glasses type" product in 2025, then contact lens-based hardware between 2030 and 2040.

This is a little push back of the expected schedule for Kuo, as a January note floated the idea of AR hardware releasing in 2021. However, earlier notes from TF securities proposed a 2022 launch.

Other reports in January have indicated a 2022 headset launch could be on the cards, preceding an "Apple Glass" launch.

While the initial helmet will provide both AR and VR experiences, the later products will most likely deal solely with MR and AR applications, according to the analyst.

Apple is thought to have several prototypes of the helmet weighing in at between 200 to 300 grams, but it is expected to push to a weigh below 200 grams. Using Sony-sourced micro OLED displays and optical modules, it will be able to provide a "see-through AR experience" as well as VR.

Sony may not necessarily be the micro OLED display producer Apple has in mind, as in February TSMC was said to be working on the technology.

The headset will have a complex product design "above that of the iPhone," which could prompt Apple to price it comparatively at around $1,000. This is far below one report from February, which reckoned it could cost consumers in the region of $3,000.

it will have independent computing power and storage, meaning it won't need a host device to function like many other VR or AR headsets. However, the first generation will be "positioned more like a portable product than a mobile product" until the technology improves.

Apple is thought to integrate the headset with video-related applications, such as Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade, as one of its key selling points. It is also anticipated to provide an "immersive experience that is significantly better than existing VR products," in part due to the higher hardware specifications.

The glasses is taking longer to develop, and as such, it is believed Apple hasn't progressed to a prototype as of yet. It will allegedly use an Apple-developed technology similar to an optical waveguide to provide a see-through AR experience.

Again, independent computing power and storage is expected for the glasses, which will be positioned more as a mobile product. It may be offered as a parallel device line to the helmet, as it will offer a more "mobile + AR" experience versus the helmet's immersiveness.

An integration with Apple Car is also expected to "provide an innovative user experience."

As for the contact lenses, there is "no visibility for the launch schedule" at the moment but it is reckoned to ship after 2030. No major details are provided about the contact lenses, aside from some general suggestions about the technology.

Kuo writes the contact lenses will bring electronics "from the era of visible computing' to invisible computing'," by effectively removing a physical device from view.

Naturally, the diminutive hardware is "unlikely to have independent computing power and storage" based on the current visibility of technology trends.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 549member
    Is this a scuba dive virtual reality glass?
    darkvader
  • Reply 2 of 50
    doggonedoggone Posts: 268member
    What is MR?  How would contact lenses work or even be powered?
    darkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 50
    Note to the analyst and to Apple: The rest of the industry won't wait until 2025 for consumer AR wearables. There is already an established price point for consumer XR devices. It is $300. At that price they fly off the shelves as long as they are really good and continue to add features over time. Apple could get a higher price for a more advanced headset with a sleeker design but probably not more than $500. XR has to be affordable because everyone knows they will be throwing away their current headset in a couple of years when the next generation is released.
    Scot1darkvaderJaphey
  • Reply 4 of 50
    as always, it'll take Apple years, if not a decade, to roll out their version of a concept product. I can't wait because I know it'll be good
    watto_cobraright_said_fred
  • Reply 5 of 50
    caladaniancaladanian Posts: 242member
    Smart contact lenses! That would be something – I would happily update my lenses if they are comfortable and easy to use. Interesting future. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 50
    doggone said:
    What is MR?  How would contact lenses work or even be powered?
    Mixed Reality 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 50
    flydogflydog Posts: 890member
    Note to the analyst and to Apple: The rest of the industry won't wait until 2025 for consumer AR wearables. There is already an established price point for consumer XR devices. It is $300. At that price they fly off the shelves as long as they are really good and continue to add features over time. Apple could get a higher price for a more advanced headset with a sleeker design but probably not more than $500. XR has to be affordable because everyone knows they will be throwing away their current headset in a couple of years when the next generation is released.
    Just FYI, this isn’t Apple’s first rodeo. 
    watto_cobrarundhvidblastdoorasdasdright_said_fredcornchipfastasleeppatchythepirate
  • Reply 8 of 50
    danoxdanox Posts: 485member
    Note to the analyst and to Apple: The rest of the industry won't wait until 2025 for consumer AR wearables. There is already an established price point for consumer XR devices. It is $300. At that price they fly off the shelves as long as they are really good and continue to add features over time. Apple could get a higher price for a more advanced headset with a sleeker design but probably not more than $500. XR has to be affordable because everyone knows they will be throwing away their current headset in a couple of years when the next generation is released.

    Google, Facebook, Samsung and Microsoft can release all the beta hardware/software they want, it won’t work or sell.
    watto_cobraasdasdlkruppright_said_fredcornchippatchythepirate
  • Reply 9 of 50
    flydogflydog Posts: 890member
    doggone said:
    What is MR?  How would contact lenses work or even be powered?
    The “prediction” is for contact lenses to be released within 20 years, which is the same as saying “if the technology existed,” which it doesn’t. 
    darkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 50
    Contact lenses? It’s Apple, not Torchwood.
    darkvaderwatto_cobraasdasd
  • Reply 11 of 50
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,087member
    Note to the analyst and to Apple: The rest of the industry won't wait until 2025 for consumer AR wearables. There is already an established price point for consumer XR devices. It is $300. At that price they fly off the shelves as long as they are really good and continue to add features over time. Apple could get a higher price for a more advanced headset with a sleeker design but probably not more than $500. XR has to be affordable because everyone knows they will be throwing away their current headset in a couple of years when the next generation is released.
    Sounds like what was said about phones, then tablets, heck it’s been repeated year after year about computers for 40 years. Well, some how this story keeps coming back with every market Apple approaches. They prove them wrong every time. 
    slprescottwatto_cobrablastdoorlkruppbadmonkStrangeDaysfastasleep
  • Reply 12 of 50
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 460member
    flydog said:
    doggone said:
    What is MR?  How would contact lenses work or even be powered?
    The “prediction” is for contact lenses to be released within 20 years, which is the same as saying “if the technology existed,” which it doesn’t. 

    And we have no idea if it's even possible.  It would require transparent circuits, normally transparent/sometimes opaque and lit display, and probably a transparent wireless power antenna.  That would all have to be less than a millimeter thick, and flexible. It would have to accommodate corrective lenses for users who wear contacts for vision correction, or it would have to handle vision correction itself.  Oh, and it would have to be completely non-toxic and oxygen permeable.

    Maybe in a hundred years.  Maybe never.  But I don't think there's a chance that this is going to happen in 20 years.  The materials to do it simply don't exist now.
    macplusplus
  • Reply 13 of 50
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 460member
    genovelle said:
    Note to the analyst and to Apple: The rest of the industry won't wait until 2025 for consumer AR wearables. There is already an established price point for consumer XR devices. It is $300. At that price they fly off the shelves as long as they are really good and continue to add features over time. Apple could get a higher price for a more advanced headset with a sleeker design but probably not more than $500. XR has to be affordable because everyone knows they will be throwing away their current headset in a couple of years when the next generation is released.
    Sounds like what was said about phones, then tablets, heck it’s been repeated year after year about computers for 40 years. Well, some how this story keeps coming back with every market Apple approaches. They prove them wrong every time. 


    Sure they do.


  • Reply 14 of 50
    M68000M68000 Posts: 322member
    darkvader said:
    flydog said:
    doggone said:
    What is MR?  How would contact lenses work or even be powered?
    The “prediction” is for contact lenses to be released within 20 years, which is the same as saying “if the technology existed,” which it doesn’t. 

    And we have no idea if it's even possible.  It would require transparent circuits, normally transparent/sometimes opaque and lit display, and probably a transparent wireless power antenna.  That would all have to be less than a millimeter thick, and flexible. It would have to accommodate corrective lenses for users who wear contacts for vision correction, or it would have to handle vision correction itself.  Oh, and it would have to be completely non-toxic and oxygen permeable.

    Maybe in a hundred years.  Maybe never.  But I don't think there's a chance that this is going to happen in 20 years.  The materials to do it simply don't exist now.
    Good comment.  In addition, the whole idea is bizarre.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 890member
    doggone said:
    What is MR?  How would contact lenses work or even be powered?
    Powered by the salty electrolytes in your eyes... and the sun, yeah that’s it....
    watto_cobraJaiOh81right_said_fred
  • Reply 16 of 50
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 890member
    darkvader said:
    flydog said:
    doggone said:
    What is MR?  How would contact lenses work or even be powered?
    The “prediction” is for contact lenses to be released within 20 years, which is the same as saying “if the technology existed,” which it doesn’t. 

    And we have no idea if it's even possible.  It would require transparent circuits, normally transparent/sometimes opaque and lit display, and probably a transparent wireless power antenna.  That would all have to be less than a millimeter thick, and flexible. It would have to accommodate corrective lenses for users who wear contacts for vision correction, or it would have to handle vision correction itself.  Oh, and it would have to be completely non-toxic and oxygen permeable.

    Maybe in a hundred years.  Maybe never.  But I don't think there's a chance that this is going to happen in 20 years.  The materials to do it simply don't exist now.
     Custom made meta materials will make things like this possible - eventually. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 50
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,441member
    Ok I just an across this
    www.spacedaily<dot>com/afp/200116134241.7854z048.html
    Apparently there is a company that is testing an electronic  AR contact lens now. Not a theoretical on paper design. Actual hardware. Approved for human testing by the FDA.

    I’m shocked, I had no idea the technology was anywhere near this. 
    watto_cobragregoriusmpatchythepirate
  • Reply 18 of 50
    bushman4bushman4 Posts: 832member
    Don’t get excited just yet. All these items are further off than what they are saying. Unfortunately
  • Reply 19 of 50
    darkvader said:
    The “prediction” is for contact lenses to be released within 20 years, which is the same as saying “if the technology existed,” which it doesn’t. 

    And we have no idea if it's even possible.  It would require transparent circuits, normally transparent/sometimes opaque and lit display, and probably a transparent wireless power antenna.  That would all have to be less than a millimeter thick, and flexible. It would have to accommodate corrective lenses for users who wear contacts for vision correction, or it would have to handle vision correction itself.  Oh, and it would have to be completely non-toxic and oxygen permeable.

    Maybe in a hundred years. 
    The difficulties you express are valid but I wanted to point out that being positioned next to the eye reduces the problem of circuits being an obstacle to vision.  Just have a look at a diagram of the eye and see what the brain overcomes already. I believe the actual timeframe for this tech is closer than we think. Apple is the one to achieve this. 
    fastasleep
  • Reply 20 of 50
    longfanglongfang Posts: 209member
    Forget contact lenses, when are cybernetic implants coming? Looking for Mantis blades 
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