Apple's Mixed-Reality Headset Again Rumored to Feature Micro-OLED Internal Displays and Standard OLED External Indicator Display
Apple's long-rumored mixed-reality headset will feature separate internal and external displays that use different display technologies, according to The Elec.
As stated in the original Korean language report, Apple's first-generation mixed-reality headset will feature an OLED on silicon (OLEDoS), also known as micro-OLED, display supplied by Sony and a standard OLED external "indicator" display supplied by LG Display. The English language version of the report appears to have been incorrectly translated to state that LG's micro-OLED technology rather than standard OLED would be used on the first-generation headset.
In January, display analyst Ross Young was first to claim that Apple's headset will feature an outer display. Since then, rumors about Apple's display supply chain for its first headset have coalesced with Young's forecast.
Micro-OLED can deliver ultra-high resolutions despite its small size, making it ideal for virtual-reality applications. The more advanced display technology is not required on the exterior of the headset since it is expected to simply serve as an indicator display, meaning that regular OLED technology is sufficient.
The report reiterated that for the second-generation Apple headset, LG hopes to supply the main micro-OLED display in addition to the outer display, with the company now believed to be developing its OLEDoS technology with equipment from Sunic System. LG effectively hopes to take Apple's main micro-OLED display orders from Sony. This is also said to be in Apple's interests since Sony will indirectly compete with Apple's headset with its own PlayStation VR headsets.
Late last year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple was already working on the second-generation version of its headset, aiming to offer a more lightweight design, an improved battery system, and better performance thanks to a faster processor. Kuo said that the shipment schedule for the second-generation headset resides in the second half of 2024, around two years after mass production on the first-generation model is rumored to begin.
Kuo believes that Apple's first-generation headset will be unveiled at an event as soon as January 2023. The headset is rumored to feature a lightweight design, two 4K micro-OLED displays, 15 optical modules, two main processors, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, eye tracking, object tracking and hand gesture controls, and more. The device's approximate price point is as yet unclear, but some reports indicate that it could cost around $3,000.
Top Rated Comments
I'm thinking this will be a content consumption device, but also a work device.
Imagine sitting at a desk that has a mouse and keyboard, but no monitor. You put on your Apple headset, and an augmented version of MacOS is displayed infront of your eyes. The 'monitor(s)' you would use are projected by the device, while you still see the room you're in, and the desk you're sitting at.
This would allow you to have as many screens as you like, at whatever sizes you like, while arranging and manipulating them as you see fit (with a mouse, as we do now, or maybe with your hands). Alternatively, there may not be any 'screens' at all, but you simply move windows/apps around, or snap them to fixed locations; there are many possibilities.
Being able to see the world around you through the device would be key to this working - think AR, rather than VR. Information is projected into your world, as you can look down at your keybord for typing, or grab a pen and paper to jot down a note, or reach for your cup of coffee. I don't think a fully virtual world would be ideal for practical work.
With the way AR has been demonstrated in recent years, I don't think it's a stretch to think these virtual screens could be fixed to a certain position in the room - distance from you, as well as location relative to you as you move around.
Not only would this system allow for nearly infinite ways of organizing and displaying your work, but it would be familiar enough so as to not scare off regular people who aren't tech enthusiasts. Granted, there will be significant push-back from those who think they will look silly, but once they get over that, and look at this as being akin to sitting at your desk in front of three giant monitors, they can simply work within MacOS as they normally would - only with more freedom.
I don't think this is a novelty. I think this has the potential to revolutionise how we work day-to-day.
There's been plenty of indication the above ^ is actually what Apple has been focusing on for their first iteration XR device. Going back many years ago, looking at their job postings, etc... It's speculation, but I firmly believe the above is what we're going to see delivered.... I bolded greatly boost productivity because I believe that is entirely the aim. If the above is what Apple is positioned to deliver, then it's a game changer. It's a game changer because it means if you use one of the (presumably handful) of XR apps this new Apple headset is going to boost productivity on and that app is critical to your job, you're going to either go buy this $2k headset and embrace it or your colleagues who do embrace are going to become a lot more productive than you are. At that point dropping $2k for the device isn't a option, it's required to remain at performance level needed to compete in your field.
If you're shaking your head saying "that's not what's going to happen". Maybe not, but I do believe Apple is aiming for this and if I'm right, then Apple's headset will be revolutionary.
Meta/Oculus's headset coming in Oct "Cambria" will do a lot of the same things, but Meta/Oculus has no first-party software like Logic Pro or Final Cut, they have no respect in the market of industrial software. They have to partner with companies like Adobe, Pro Tools, etc.. to deliver something comparable. There is no coherent ecosystem there for Meta to own, Apple already has this. Apple has partnerships with so many creative tool vendors. They have incredible leverage and are in a great position to not only make money off their XR hardware, but boost interest in their ecosystem as a whole. Definitively, we can say that if Apple goes in the direction above focusing on productivity Meta can not compete. Meta has tried to build a ecosystem, but has failed. Their phone product got scraped before coming to market, Portal is being sunset, their watch project canceled. The Rayban Smart glasses have been struggling, they have no successful products outside of VR headsets to even build an ecosystem with.
Comments from Meta/Oculus fans are entertaining. Their heads are firmly in the VR/gaming space. They are thinking of how Apple has no support for STEAM, how Apple would need to port all the hit VR titles to their platform, etc... If Apple were aiming to compete heavy in the gaming VR space, these thoughts would be accurate. But if Apple releases a $2k headset, you have to be pretty shallow to think that's just going to come to market to give Apple's customers Apple VR Arcade access. Rest easy, for Apple, XR related gaming will probably continue to remain a sidebar thing. I don't see Apple taking the gaming market any time soon. But if they get productivity XR right and innovate in that space, Meta's Cambria won't really be able to complete with the Apple headset either. Even if the hardware spec and features similar, it's going to be all about what the software does with those features that defines the product.
Does anyone else feel the same?
For that much money, Apple must have some bigger use planned for this thing. Maybe “Reality OS” is a more robust operating system than we think it is. Maybe this headset could be used for not only experiencing virtual worlds but also designing objects and spaces for those worlds. For $3000 there’s gotta be some reason that people will want to keep putting this thing on and wearing it for extended hours. VR games and virtual tours just isn’t going to be enough. For content consumption alone, $3000 is a high ask.
They definitely have my curiosity. As a digital artist always looking for new ways to create, I’m certainly curious if they can gain my wallet as well.
”Yes son, he kept walking into walls and one day he walked straight off the balcony”