Apple’s forthcoming AR/VR headset said to have three displays

Display Supply Chain Consultants has published a paper with 10 predictions for the display industry in 2022, which includes predictions about Apple’s expected AR/VR headset.

Apple VR/AR headset concept by Antonio DeRosa
Apple VR/AR headset concept by Antonio DeRosa

Display Supply Chain Consultants:

Apple Will Release an AR/VR Headset with Three Displays

There have been many rumors about Apple launching its first AR/VR headset. The device is expected to be released in the second half of 2022 and to feature both VR and passthrough AR modes. Apple has already commercialized several building blocks for AR/VR, including LiDAR sensors, spatial audio and a software API (ARKit) for developers.

Sony Semiconductor Solutions is expected to be the Micro OLED supplier. Sony recently showcased a 4K display for VR, with a 6.3 μm pixel pitch (about 4,000 PPI). It is entirely plausible that this display was developed for Apple, so the final specs may be very similar. If we assume the array to be 4000 × 4000 pixels, the display will measure 1.4” in diagonal. Sony’s microdisplays are based on WOLED with color filters.

What will be the use of the third display? AMOLED has not been found in recent VR headsets because the pixel density was too low. One possibility is that Apple will use the AMOLED panel for low-resolution peripheral vision, thereby enabling a foveated display system. It would not be the first time that a headset includes two different types of displays. Varjo has previously implemented foveation by optically combining high resolution Micro OLED displays with lower resolution MiniLED LCD panels.

Such an advanced display configuration will come at a high price. We can expect the Apple headset to cost several thousand dollars. Our assumption is that the first-generation headset will be a high-end device targeted at professionals and developers to expand Apple’s ecosystem in AR/VR. The device will also have multiple cameras enabling hand tracking and possibly a LiDAR sensor, according to rumors. Apple will likely include a powerful mobile CPU and GPU in the headset.

MacDailyNews Take: In February, The Information reported that the Apple headset would display video of the real world to people wearing it with a price point around $3,000 — making the product an enterprise-focused offering, not for the consumer market.

If priced at $3,000, we expect Apple’s headset will, in part, exist as a means for developers to build the next killer AR apps for true, light, powerful Apple smartglasses for arrive as soon as 2025.

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    1. I’m not sure if you need to overthink the notch. It’s kind of ghastly but it will define the 2020 devices from Apple. It helps them make thinner bezels without affecting the content area.

  1. Apple is not Microsoft. Apple doesn’t care about the enterprise market. I don’t buy that Apple will be developing a device only for this market. Most likely this will be a developer kit before the release of the consumer version. Still to compete with a good enough $350 Quest2, a $1,000+ Apple VR device will have to provide a lot more value and use beyond gaming.

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