Apple’s roadmap includes mixed reality headset, AR glasses, AR contact lenses

In a note to clients — as noted by MacRumors — reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple plans a mixed reality headset in mid-2022, augmented reality glasses by 2025, and augmented reality content lenses in the 2030s.

The US$1,000 mixed reality headset will, he says, have a helmet-like design and be equipped with Sony’s Micro-OLED displays, more than a dozen cameras, two ultra-high-resolution 8K displays, eye-tracking tech, and several optical modules to provide a see-through AR experience, as well as a virtual reality (VR) experience. Kuo believes Apple’s headset has the potential to provide an “immersive experience that is significantly better than existing VR products.”

Regarding the AR glasses, Kuo says that there’s no prototype yet and offered no details. However, it’s possible — per the Sellers Research Group (that’s me) that they could serve as both for AR features AND as a replacement for prescription lens. In December 2020, Apple applied for a patent (number 20200400948) for “display and vision correction center with removable lens.”

Per the patent filing, the glasses frame is configured to be worn on the head of the user. The removable lens assembly is removably coupleable to the head-mounted display unit and to the glasses frame. And the removable lens assembly includes a corrective lens element.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that different users of Apple Glasses may have different refractive errors of their eyes, such that different users require different corrective lenses. 

Finally, Kuo says that the AR contact lens will launch sometime after 2030 and “will bring electronics from the era of “visible computing” to “invisible computing,” but offered no further details.

The accompanying image is courtesy of PerfectLens.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.