Following a recent report mentioning that Apple’s rumored mixed reality headset will feature advanced eye tracking, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by 9to5Mac that Apple has been working on hybrid ultra-short focal length lens aiming to keep the weight of the headset under 150 grams.
As mentioned by Kuo, current virtual reality headsets typically weigh over 300 grams and have a bulky form factor, which is something Apple wants to solve for its own headset. Apple’s VR device is expected to adopt Fresnel’s hybrid ultra-short focal length lens that have improved field of view, as well as reduced weight and thickness.
The analyst believes that the new Apple-built headset will weigh less than 150 grams, which will be a big advantage when compared to similar devices that currently exist. The device will be equipped with lenses made of plastic instead of glass, which are lighter — but details about the durability of the material are unknown.
While AR devices do not provide an immersive experience as VR devices, they generally have a more compact, favorable form factor. Apple’s challenge is to make a VR-enabled device that is also lightweight and not clunky.
For video-see-through AR HMDs and VR HMDs, the critical design trend is to achieve a thin and light design with an ultra-short focal length lens/Fresnel lens. The design challenge is also related to the display, optical material, thermal, and production. We believe that solving this complicated optical design is one of the major competitive advantages of video-see-through AR HMDs and in the future.
He also reinforces that Apple will adopt Micro-OLED displays for its headset to compensate for the reduced brightness caused by Fresnel’s hybrid lenses. Earlier this month, the analyst revealed that this new device will also have 15 built-in camera lenses.
According to previous rumors, Apple’s mixed reality headset is expected to be launched sometime in 2022 costing as much as $1000. However, Kuo argues that the product’s shipment could be delayed due to supply issues.