Data about Apple's AR headset screens has been leaked

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 2023
Display analyst Ross Young claims to have specifications for the screens in Apple's forthcoming Apple AR headset, believed to be announced at WWDC.

Mockup of a possible Apple headset design
Mockup of a possible Apple headset design

Apple hasn't announced any details of its first foray into Augmented Reality headsets, and won't until at least WWDC. But any headset will feature two screens, one for each of the wearer's eyes, and Young says he has the details.

"You want more, I will give you more," begins his tweet as seen by AppleInsider. He goes on to list "Micro OLED specs for Apple's AR/VR headset," which are:

  • 1.41 inches diagonal

  • Targeting 4000:1 contrast

  • Targeting >5000 nits of brightness

Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants doesn't qualify his "targeting" word. So it's not clear whether these specifications, if correct, are from earlier plans for the device.

The brightness level Young quotes will be a peak level so it's not known what the level will be in regular use. For comparison, the Meta Quest 2 is reported to have 100 nits brightness on its single Fast Switch LCD screen.

That figure is not quoted by Sony itself, but appears in online discussions about it being too bright.

Similarly, Sony's Playstation VR2 has a stated brightness of 265 nits with its pair of OLED screens.

The use of micro OLED in the Apple AR or VR headset has been rumored for some time, and it's been expected that Samsung Display will produce the screens.

Read on AppleInsider
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,538member
    Greater than 5000 nits? That’s awfully bright. What we’re interested in is resolution, frames per second and latency. Unless AI isn’t giving, or first have all of his info, those are the specs that we all want to know.
    muthuk_vanalingamJapheydk49beowulfschmidtcaladanianAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 30
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,145member
    If it's Micro OLED and 5000 nits, why would the contrast ratio only be 4000 to 1? They already boast 2 million to 1 on their phone OLEDs at under half the brightness 
    XedcaladanianAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 30
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,769member
    melgross said:
    Greater than 5000 nits? That’s awfully bright. What we’re interested in is resolution, frames per second and latency. Unless AI isn’t giving, or first have all of his info, those are the specs that we all want to know.
    Couldn’t agree more. The iPhone Pro’s peak at 2000 nits, and that’s in direct sunlight while being held a few feet from your face. These goggles will seal off the outside light and be an inch away from the retina. Perhaps there was an error in somebody’s reporting because >5000 nits seems unnecessarily excessive. 
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 30
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,345member
    melgross said:
    Greater than 5000 nits? That’s awfully bright. What we’re interested in is resolution, frames per second and latency. Unless AI isn’t giving, or first have all of his info, those are the specs that we all want to know.
    Looking over this (https://pointerclicker.com/how-many-lumens-are-bad-for-your-eyes/#:~:text=In%20dark%20conditions%2C%2080%20lumens,luminosity%20of%20over%2010%2C000%20lumens.), I'm wondering if this is some kind of error. It sounds like 5000 nits (aka lumens) is close to being unsafe. (maybe they could call it a 'fried retina' display) 

    I wonder if maybe it's more like the 'equivalent' of what a monitor would look like in a lit room at a reasonable distance. In other words, maybe the actual brightness is much lower, but because the light is coming from a screen an inch from your eyeball and sealed off from outside light, the experience is similar to looking at a 5k lumen light source, but maybe it's nowhere near actually being 5k lumen?? 
    MacProgregoriusmAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,752member
    blastdoor said:
    melgross said:
    Greater than 5000 nits? That’s awfully bright. What we’re interested in is resolution, frames per second and latency. Unless AI isn’t giving, or first have all of his info, those are the specs that we all want to know.
    Looking over this (https://pointerclicker.com/how-many-lumens-are-bad-for-your-eyes/#:~:text=In%20dark%20conditions%2C%2080%20lumens,luminosity%20of%20over%2010%2C000%20lumens.), I'm wondering if this is some kind of error. It sounds like 5000 nits (aka lumens) is close to being unsafe. (maybe they could call it a 'fried retina' display) 

    I wonder if maybe it's more like the 'equivalent' of what a monitor would look like in a lit room at a reasonable distance. In other words, maybe the actual brightness is much lower, but because the light is coming from a screen an inch from your eyeball and sealed off from outside light, the experience is similar to looking at a 5k lumen light source, but maybe it's nowhere near actually being 5k lumen?? 
    My thoughts exactly.  Kind of like folks with '600mm lenses' on their camera with a tiny sensor.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 30
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,781member
    5,000 bits is crazy for something so close to your eye in a sealed, dark en environment. 

    Unless there is some unthought of application, such as variable zone brightness for certain applications where there is a ton of info on screen at one (I.e. a medical imaging scan), then it doesn’t seem quite right. No one wants to have their retinas seared. 

    Other than that, there is no real useful data here. Makes me wonder if this is a planned leak - just enough to whet appetites for the wwdc announcement. 

    Meh. I’d rather hear some great news about the max - you know, something that shows hardware superiority over everything else out there… waiting, waiting, waiting… 




    Alex1N
  • Reply 7 of 30
    thttht Posts: 5,499member
    Definitely at vocabulary overload here. 

    OLED = has organic light emitting subpixels (iPhones, Watches)
    microLED = has inorganic light emitting subpixels (nothing in production)
    LED LCD = monolithic backlight generated by LEDs, typically along the edge (MBA, ASD)
    miniLED = discretized array of backlights generated by lots of mini LEDs (MBP14/16, iPP12.9)

    micro OLED? WTF? Is this just an OLED, but a small display, 1.4” diagonal? Like what’s in the Apple Watch? How’s it different from an OLED display.

    If it is an OLED, why is the contrast ratio 4000:1? OLEDs should have contrast ratios of at least 1000000:1. 

    Then >5000 nits brightness. That close to your eyeballs!? Maybe it is only for like 10 pixels at a time?
    iqatedocaladanianAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 30
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,781member
    tht said:
    Definitely at vocabulary overload here. 

    OLED = has organic light emitting subpixels (iPhones, Watches)
    microLED = has inorganic light emitting subpixels (nothing in production)
    LED LCD = monolithic backlight generated by LEDs, typically along the edge (MBA, ASD)
    miniLED = discretized array of backlights generated by lots of mini LEDs (MBP14/16, iPP12.9)

    micro OLED? WTF? Is this just an OLED, but a small display, 1.4” diagonal? Like what’s in the Apple Watch? How’s it different from an OLED display.

    If it is an OLED, why is the contrast ratio 4000:1? OLEDs should have contrast ratios of at least 1000000:1. 

    Then >5000 nits brightness. That close to your eyeballs!? Maybe it is only for like 10 pixels at a time?
    The contrast ratio is unbelievably poor - especially if this is supposed to be some epic device. That’s a fail spec. I get the idea that it’s in a small, enclosed dark space. But even then in an ideal environment, that’s poor. 

    Likewise the screen size - a lot of lens magnification going on. Must be to reduce depth of the eye-covering portion - great if it were in a glasses-sunglasses form factor. 

    Overall, these leaks aren’t helping. A headset is a niche device as-is. Couple that with specs that don’t really change the game and it’s just kind of meh. I’m sure the magic will be in the software, but it’s very difficult to see how this is going to take off outside of some niche applications (unless it’s a pair of glasses/sunglasses. Then that’s another story altogether).
    edited May 2023 Alex1N
  • Reply 9 of 30
    waveparticlewaveparticle Posts: 1,497member
    What is the purpose of wearing this headset to look at things? What can you get by looking? 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 30
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,357moderator
    JP234 said:
    If it's going to use microLED, expect it to come in closer to the projected $3,000 MSRP. That tech is currently expensive. Very expensive, no matter how small the screens are. Samsung sells two TVs with it, and they're both over $75K.
    Micro OLED like these:

    https://www.displaymodule.com/products/1-03-inch-micro-oled-display-2560x2560-with-mipi ($329)

    https://www.kopin.com/kopin-oled-microdisplay-exhibits-breakthrough-7000-nits-brightness-with-good-color-fidelity/



    They explain the high brightness (up to 10k nits) is so that it works well in AR when it competes with daylight and it avoids motion artifacts as the pixels are only illuminated for a fraction of the time on a fast refresh display. That brightness level also allows avoiding tone mapping for HDR:

    https://www.avforums.com/articles/what-is-4k-hdr-tone-mapping.13883/

    It's not likely they will run the whole display at that brightness, mainly very small parts like the brightest parts to give a realistic image.
    edited May 2023 netroxfastasleeproundaboutnowbloggerblogchasmiqatedocaladanianAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 30
    blastdoor said:
    melgross said:
    Greater than 5000 nits? That’s awfully bright. What we’re interested in is resolution, frames per second and latency. Unless AI isn’t giving, or first have all of his info, those are the specs that we all want to know.
    Looking over this (https://pointerclicker.com/how-many-lumens-are-bad-for-your-eyes/#:~:text=In%20dark%20conditions%2C%2080%20lumens,luminosity%20of%20over%2010%2C000%20lumens.), I'm wondering if this is some kind of error. It sounds like 5000 nits (aka lumens) is close to being unsafe. (maybe they could call it a 'fried retina' display) 

    I wonder if maybe it's more like the 'equivalent' of what a monitor would look like in a lit room at a reasonable distance. In other words, maybe the actual brightness is much lower, but because the light is coming from a screen an inch from your eyeball and sealed off from outside light, the experience is similar to looking at a 5k lumen light source, but maybe it's nowhere near actually being 5k lumen?? 
    A nit is not the same thing as a lumen. Nit is also known as candela/sq.m and is often used to describe the brightness of an emissive display. Note the reference to a unit area in there. Lumens are usually used to describe the light output of a luminaire, such a light bulb or projector, where its not normal to stare into the beam or directly at the bulb (also inadvisable as the article you linked says). When the light output strikes a surface, you will get a certain number of lumens/area, depending on how wide or concentrated the beam is. Then, if you know the reflectivity of the surface (usually called "gain" when talking about a projection screen), you can derive nits based on how many lumens you have per area. (In cinemas, ft/lamberts is used to describe the light coming off of a projection screen).

    Those outdoor LED billboards (emissive displays) are usually capable of producing up to 5,000 nit so they can be daylight viewable (a deep black between LEDs helps too). So 5,000 nit is not crazy...

    I note that the article says "The brightness level Young quotes will be a peak level (emphasis mine) so it's not known what the level will be in regular use."

    I do think that if one has AR glasses that are optically transparent with a direct view of the real world, with the glass's display being used to provide an optical overlay over the real world in broad daylight, you might need a display with a peak of 5,000 nit.

    However, in the case of completely sealed goggles, this is different. If this is the case, I also wonder if there is some sort nit "equivalent" being made. A couple of hundred nits would surely be plenty in a completely dark environment, although it would probably be necessary for any given microLED pixel to peak above that average for optimal contrast ratios such as one finds in HDR.
    fastasleepavon b7Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 30
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,426member
    What is the purpose of wearing this headset to look at things? What can you get by looking? 
    LOL what
    jas99bloggerblogwilliamlondonStrangeDayschutzpahAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 30
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,781member
    Marvin said:
    JP234 said:
    If it's going to use microLED, expect it to come in closer to the projected $3,000 MSRP. That tech is currently expensive. Very expensive, no matter how small the screens are. Samsung sells two TVs with it, and they're both over $75K.
    Micro OLED like these:

    https://www.displaymodule.com/products/1-03-inch-micro-oled-display-2560x2560-with-mipi ($329)

    https://www.kopin.com/kopin-oled-microdisplay-exhibits-breakthrough-7000-nits-brightness-with-good-color-fidelity/



    They explain the high brightness (up to 10k nits) is so that it works well in AR when it competes with daylight and it avoids motion artifacts as the pixels are only illuminated for a fraction of the time on a fast refresh display. That brightness level also allows avoiding tone mapping for HDR:

    https://www.avforums.com/articles/what-is-4k-hdr-tone-mapping.13883/

    It's not likely they will run the whole display at that brightness, mainly very small parts like the brightest parts to give a realistic image.
    The screens don’t compete with daylight in a closed environment if the daylight is managed via cameras piping in an AR feed from the outer portion of the headset. 

    But this makes great sense if it’s using a glasses/sunglasses form factor. 
    Alex1Nfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 30
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,426member
    tht said:

    […]

    micro OLED? WTF? Is this just an OLED, but a small display, 1.4” diagonal? Like what’s in the Apple Watch? How’s it different from an OLED display.
    The difference is pixel density. These are allegedly 4K x 4K displays. At that size, that’s far denser than a standard OLED display. Marvin covered the rest. 
    williamlondonStrangeDaysAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 30
    doggonedoggone Posts: 385member
    I guess we will all find out in 6 days time.
    Apple has hit home runs with most of their new product types since the introduction of the iMac.   There haven't been many failures especially in recent years.  Price has sometimes been an issue even when the iPhone was first released.  It may be that this device will be viewed as expensive initially but will come down in price over time.
    It will be also interesting what the initial applications will be.  I doubt that they will necessarily be what average users will need.
    jas99Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Still holding out hope Apple’s offering looks NOTHING like the renderings and current offerings on the market.  All of them butt ugly, nasty devices I wouldn’t want to wear even if paid to do so.  

    Hoping for the original iPhone launch “wow factor” in that it looks and interacts like nothing else at the time.  

    A guy can dream, right? 
    9secondkox2Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 30
    kkeekkee Posts: 19member
    Marvin said:
    JP234 said:
    If it's going to use microLED, expect it to come in closer to the projected $3,000 MSRP. That tech is currently expensive. Very expensive, no matter how small the screens are. Samsung sells two TVs with it, and they're both over $75K.
    Micro OLED like these:

    https://www.displaymodule.com/products/1-03-inch-micro-oled-display-2560x2560-with-mipi ($329)

    https://www.kopin.com/kopin-oled-microdisplay-exhibits-breakthrough-7000-nits-brightness-with-good-color-fidelity/



    They explain the high brightness (up to 10k nits) is so that it works well in AR when it competes with daylight and it avoids motion artifacts as the pixels are only illuminated for a fraction of the time on a fast refresh display. That brightness level also allows avoiding tone mapping for HDR:

    https://www.avforums.com/articles/what-is-4k-hdr-tone-mapping.13883/

    It's not likely they will run the whole display at that brightness, mainly very small parts like the brightest parts to give a realistic image.
    The screens don’t compete with daylight in a closed environment if the daylight is managed via cameras piping in an AR feed from the outer portion of the headset. 

    But this makes great sense if it’s using a glasses/sunglasses form factor. 
    A lot of speculations at this point. We still don't know the actual physical design yet and I am not going to comment on the renders no matter how good they look. Although interpolating all the data leaks, it makes sense that Apple would go for hybrid form factor and the high nits is then necessary for AR overlay through lenses. It also makes sense for the design to look more like sunglasses than Oculus with the ability to switch to VR environment by turning the lenses into opaque. While in VR mode, it is now necessary to lower much of that nits and increase the pixel density for realism.
    9secondkox2Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 30
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,971member
    A whole new ecosystem coming up from Apple next week? should be fun, hardware plus software integration (with a new OS coming?), just in time for the EU, Washington DC, and many of the big 1% third-party developers to complain about, how Apple is not giving them a free ride. "Building better worlds" :smile: 

    Which is better introducing a new software/hardware ecosystem for developers of all sizes to use, or joining the AI hype.
    edited May 2023 h4y3sAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 30
    XedXed Posts: 2,622member
    danox said:
    A whole new ecosystem coming up from Apple next week? should be fun, hardware plus software integration (with a new OS coming?), just in time for the EU, Washington DC, and many of the big 1% third-party developers to complain about, how Apple is not giving them a free ride. "Building better worlds" :smile: 

    Which is better introducing a new software/hardware ecosystem for developers of all sizes to use, or introducing AI to replace developers and people in time.
    I'm sure someone is readying a lawsuit regarding Apple's monopoly on the VR headset market.
    williamlondonAlex1Nwatto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.