Apple is entering the Metaverse with their M1 Chips
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In the latest rumors surrounding Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset, we get more confirmation about its release in Q2 of 2022 and its astonishing M1 chip-level computing power. Which is major, not only have they beat what Microsoft has been trying to do for 10 years with the M1 Chip, but Apple entering this scene will most surely drop down the power level Meta currently has in the industry. In his most up to date investor note, Ming-Chi Kuo describes Apple’s headset as an independently operated device with no need to tether to an iPhone or Mac. It will secure two 4K OLED micro-displays from Sony and dual processors units. Here is a sketch of what Apple’s VR headset might look like.
The headset’s higher-end chip will have M1-level performance while the low-end chip will handle sensor-related computing. It’s also said to offer up to eight optical modules which will provide AR services. It will be able to handle full-blown VR too. Rumors have described Apple VR/AR headset as lightweight offering coming in at 200-300 grams thanks to its cloth exteriors. Pricing rumors fluctuate from $1,000 to $3,000 but we’ll just have to wait and see what shows up. Regardless of the price, Apple has a huge fanbase that follows it’s products & when people hear a new Apple product come out they usually rush to buy. However Meta will still lead as the cheaper VR headset if this price point does end up around this estimate.
We predict that Apple will launch an AR HMD (head-mounted display) device in 2022. The device will provide a video see-through AR experience, so the lens is also needed, and Genius is also a key supplier. – Ming-Chi Kuo
The latest investor note also detailed Apple’s camera lens supply chain and Taiwan’s Genius Electronic Optical (GSEO) as the main supplier for the upcoming iPhone 13 series as well as the AR headset. The Apple AR headset is expected to use Sony microLED displays with both see-through mode for AR content and a mode that is impenetrable by light for VR content. A total of 15 cameras will be put to work, providing a truly immersive experience for users.
You'll still have to plug into a computer/laptop to power on the AR headset while a more portable version will arrive in 2025. Apple seems to be a bit late to the scene, but I’m sure they will play a major role in the VR Community now that they have realized how much power a company like Meta is holding.
Apple’s VR/AR headset may be closer than anticipated – a report from February claimed that the headset will launch in 2023 at the earliest, now analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that it will be out in mid-2022. And it will be much cheaper too than previously expected.
Like with all Apple products, We will see a first generation as a testing stage to release to the public, Stage 1 is the headset. Prototypes apparently weigh 200-300 grams, but Apple wants to drive that down to 100-200g. This will make it significantly lighter than current VR products. For example, the affordable Oculus Quest 2 is 503g, the higher end Vive Cosmos Elite is 650g. Which if you have the Oculus you know it can be a bit chunky or heavy to use for long periods of time you will tire out quickly, which is a bad thing if the concept is to sustain engagement. Most VR users who do use the product for long periods of time end up acquiring more tools to make it lighter on the head.
The initial reports pegged the pricing at $3,000 and detailed some highly advanced features (these may still be coming, of course, especially if a Pro model launches later on). But as of right now the main concern for Apple should really be just to enter the market & show us an Apple product as soon as possible. We should expect a price spike in sales for the Apple VR next Christmas similar to how Meta dominated Christmas and Oculus became the #1 app on the app-store via iPhone.
Apple’s device will be tied in with Apple services such as TV+, Arcade and others. I’m really awaiting to see what Apple plans to do with it’s main hubs no news on this yet.
Stage 2 will be AR glasses planned for 2025 (there isn’t even a prototype yet). This too will be a mobile product with its own battery and processing power. These may feature integration with the Apple Car. In the future many people expect AR glasses or contacts even to fully replace phones in general, and must I say I cannot wait for this type of future.. it will be insane.
Stage 3 will be straight out of science fiction – AR contact lenses planned to launch after 2030. These will be just displays (and will rely on an external device for processing and data connectivity), but will still create the era of “invisible computing”.
A report coming from Nikkei Asia suggests that Apple and TSMC are both working on advanced OLED displays intended for its AR and VR devices. The hardware is currently in the testing stage in Apple's office in Longtan Science Park, which is near the TSMC's testing plant in the region.
There are a couple of key takeaways from the report. First and foremost, the OLED panels will be built using TSMC's current chip-production equipment. Secondly, the OLED displays will be integrated directly onto the chip for improved efficiency and to save some internal space. And lastly, Apple has reportedly hired top talent from the display manufacturer AU Optronics to work on the said 1-inch displays.
The source also reveals about Apple's plans to develop microLED displays with Epistar to power up its future Apple Watches, iPads and MacBooks.
Also recently, Apple recruited Andrea Schubert, Meta’s communications and public relations chief, for its augmented reality initiatives, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his Power On newsletter.
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