Apple's rumoured VR headset may be closer than we think after Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo gave a release window in a research note with TF International Securities (via MacRumors).
Kuo predicts Apple's mixed reality headset will be released by mid-2022, along with the Apple AR glasses by 2025. There's even word of futuristic AR contact lenses by 2030, which gives us a decade to get used to putting in contact lenses for those of us who get squeamish at the thought.
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"We predict that Apple's MR/AR product roadmap includes three phases: helmet type by 2022, glasses type by 2025, and contact lens type by 2030–2040," stated Kuo. "We foresee that the helmet product will provide AR and VR experiences, while glasses and contact lens types of products are more likely to focus on AR applications."
The analyst also believes the headset will be lighter than other VR headsets with a weight of around 100g-200 grams and will have an emphasis on portability with its own chip and storage, much like the popular Oculus Quest 2. He also expects it to be priced at $1,000 in the U.S.
A previous rumour about the Apple VR headset from The Information stated it would have a $3,000 price tag, with 8K displays and advanced technology for eye-tracking. It also said the VR headset would release in 2022. This could mean various headset models will be coming out, including a premium edition and budget option.
The 2025 Apple AR glasses are also expected to feature micro OLED displays, and according to Kuo, will offer a see-through AR experience. We can imagine it beaming maps and messages into the user's field of vision, with the glasses being controlled through an iPhone.
As for the smart contact lenses? Apparently, Kuo says it will usher in the era of "invisible computing." Not much more was said, but Minority Report definitely comes to mind.
VR headsets have already hit mainstream thanks to the Oculus Quest 2, giving us next-gen experiences from VR exercising to VR dating. Apple is clearly looking to jump on that bandwagon and wants to get its foot in the door for AR contact lenses if what Kuo states is true.