Apple’s augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets will reportedly need to be connected wirelessly to another processing power device, such as a nearby Mac or iPhone.
The much-publicized device’s integrated chip lacks the capabilities of other Apple processors, according to a report in The information, similar to previous versions of the Apple Watch, requiring users to keep their iPhones with them.
The AR function of the helmet-like headset will overlay computer-generated images over the user’s image of the real world, enhancing games and educational programs.
The VR function completely immerses the user in a simulated environment.
According to the new report, the headset will have its own CPU and graphics processor and may have some basic standalone functionality.
A source familiar with the headset told the site that Apple’s manufacturing partner, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, “has struggled to produce the chip without flaws and experienced low yields during pilot production.”
They predict mass production of the device will take at least another year, which contradicts the spring 2022 rollout forecast earlier this summer by TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
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According to a new report, Apple’s much-discussed AR headset must be wirelessly connected to another device, such as an iPhone or a Mac book, to use its more advanced features.
According to The Information, Apple last year completed design work on the headset’s system-on-a-chip, “which isn’t as powerful as the ones for iPhones, iPads and MacBooks.”
“It lacks the artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, known as Apple’s Neural Engine, that these devices contain,” said a source.
That means a phone, tablet or laptop will do the heavy lifting “to display virtual, mixed and augmented reality images.”
By sacrificing processing power, the battery can last longer, the report said, and more power for “compressing and decompressing video” and “sending wireless data between the headset and the host.”
The helmet-like headset will lack “the artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities known as Apple’s Neural Engine” of other Apple devices, similar to early iterations of the Apple Watch.
Another person familiar with the project said the image sensor and display driver for the headset are “unusually large” — nearly the size of one of the headset’s lenses — to “capture high-resolution image data from a user’s environment.” to submit to AR. ‘
In a note to investors in June, Kuo said a helmet-like head-mounted display from Apple, offering both virtual and augmented reality, would ship in the second quarter of 2022.
It has long been rumored that Apple is developing its own AR glasses. A 2019 patent (pictured) gives a glimpse of what it may be developing
“The device will provide a video see-through AR experience, so the lens is also needed, and Genius is also a major supplier,” Kuo wrote, according to 9to5Mac.
The new report doesn’t offer any details on the headset’s price, though Kuo has previously said it will cost around $1,000.
Others have suggested a price closer to Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset, which costs $3,500.
According to The Information’s source, Apple’s less cumbersome AR specs, Apple Glass, could debut in 2023.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AR AND VR?
Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of an environment or situation
- It immerses the user by making them feel like they are in the simulated reality through images and sounds
- For example, in VR, you might feel like you’re climbing a mountain while you’re at home
Augmented reality, on the other hand, superimposes computer-generated images on an existing reality
- AR was developed into apps to bring digital components into the real world
- For example, in the Pokemon Go app, the characters seem to appear in real-life scenarios
In a 2020 video on Front Page Tech, technology analyst Jon Prosser said he had seen two prototypes for Apple Glass in the company’s Cupertino offices: one white and one black.
Both models, described as “clean” and “smooth” in appearance, will be 5G compatible, said Prosser, who is described by Apple Insider as an Apple leaker “with resources throughout the company and supply chain.”
The AR eyepiece is reportedly not sunglasses, but regular clear glasses that will display an interface on the inside of the lens – not unlike what’s shown in Apple’s promo image.
Wearers could simply use their gaze to select apps on the AR display, which would be similar to a smartphone’s homepage, rumours suggest.
Anyone facing an Apple Glass-wearing user will not be able to see the AR display, which will overlay digital images over the user’s real environment.
According to Prosser, Apple Glass will have its own operating system, ‘Starboard’.
Kuo previously claimed that Apple Glass would not be released before 2025, claiming that the device has not yet reached the prototype stage.
In April, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Sway podcast host Kara Swisher that augmented reality is ‘critical’ for the future of the company.
The company has been working on AR glasses for quite some time: A 2019 patent application suggests it is considering a “display device” that uses a “reflective holographic combiner” to seamlessly merge objects displayed on the headset’s screen.
That would increase depth of field and reduce the eyestrain and nausea often associated with AR and VR.