Is the Microsoft Hololens mixed reality helmet about to get some competition from Apple?
The Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker is working on a headset capable of supporting augmented reality and virtual technologies, CNET reports, citing a person familiar with Apple’s plans. It is said that the T288 handset is in the early stages of development and Apple could launch the mixed reality glasses in 2020 to face the Oculus of Facebook, HTC Live, Magic Leap and others.
The Apple headphones could have an 8K screen for each eye, offering a more realistic experience. Apple may be waiting for the display and chip technologies to mature before releasing their headphones.
An Apple patent discovered earlier revealed that the company is investigating AR lens technology. Apple research requires a compact set of lenses to help focus light and eliminate the effects of chromatic aberration. This could lead to more compact sizes for AR glasses and help improve usability and reduce user fatigue. Apple’s patent application also mentioned the follow-up of looks.
The glasses could function as a separate unit that does not need to be tied to a computer or smartphone to function, allowing for greater mobility. Since it is designed as a stand-alone unit, Apple’s headphones would use a custom processor.
Unlike some existing headphones on the market today, the implementation of Apple’s T288 may not require special cameras in the room to track the headphones. All components would be integrated into the handset or a complementary box.
“The Apple headsets would connect to a dedicated box using a short-range, high-speed wireless technology, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans,” CNET reported. “The box, which would be powered by a custom Apple processor more powerful than any currently available, would act as the brain for the AR / VR headsets.In its current state, the box resembles a PC tower, but it will not be a Real Mac computer. ”
Relying on a wireless wireless solution, Apple hopes that a simple configuration does not deter consumers from adopting AR technology. The wireless connection to the box could depend on WiGig, although the WiGig 2.0 standard will not be finalized until 2019. A second generation version could be based on the 802.11a protocol, allowing faster speeds and an improved wireless range.
The custom silicon inside the box could be based on a five-nanometer architecture. In comparison, Apple today uses a 10nm architecture for the Bionic A11 processor in the iPhone X, and Intel’s current processors are based on a 14nm architecture.