Apple’s rumored mixed reality (MR) headset could incorporate a bunch of cameras to offer image pass-through operations in both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) modes.
- Eight cameras for AR.
- Six cameras for “innovative biometrics.”
- You’ll be able to “see through” the helmet.
Pass-through AR and VR
The well-connected TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who happens to be the most reliable Apple analyst out there, has said in a new note to clients seen by AppleInsider, MacRumors and 9to5Mac that the rumored accessory will feature as many as 15 cameras.
Prior reports have indicated that the device might feature twelve onboard cameras.
According to Kuo, as many as eight cameras will power augmented reality experiences while six cameras will be used for what he calls “innovative biometrics.” The research note stops short of explaining just what “innovative biometrics” might entail. If you ask us, this may be a Face ID system built right into the helmet that could also power advanced eye-tracking.
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The eight cameras used for AR will power an “image-transmissive AR experience”. An additional module would take care of environmental detection. Detecting the environment is crucial for the positioning of virtual objects in the scene. Unfortunately, Kuo doesn’t explain whether that means incorporating a LiDAR scanner like the one in the iPad Pro.
The camera lens modules for the MR device should be supplied by Taiwanese maker Largan Precision, who is seen as a major beneficiary of Apple’s move to AR headsets. Kuo said in a report earlier this week that an Apple-branded MR headset would arrive in mid-2022.
It would sell for around $1,000, much cheaper than the $3,000 price tag that The Information mentioned earlier this year. We’re potentially talking about a standalone, lightweight device weighing in at around 100-200 grams, offering two 8K micro-OLED displays and other perks.
Apple may also be working on a new “glasses type” product with augmented reality capabilities that could arrive in 2025, as well as AR contact lenses for a potential release in the 2030s (“no visibility for the launch schedule” on that one yet, Kuo says).