Apple will likely launch its first headset device in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to a new report from renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
According to MacRumors, Kuo’s report suggests that the headset will be able to operate as a standalone device, with no need to tether it to an iPhone or Mac computer. Intriguingly, Kuo also suggests that Apple’s long-term aim is to have the headset essentially replace the iPhone within a ten-year timeframe.
Kuo, who has earned a reputation as a reliable source of information about Apple plans, has previously suggested that Apple’s AR/VR headset would feature eye-tracking technology. Apple itself, meanwhile, has patented designs that would combine eye tracking and facial recognition technologies in a theoretical headset device.
The new report doesn’t seem to shed any further light on such capabilities. But it appears that the planned headset will feature sufficient computing power to enable them. Kuo’s report notes that the headset will feature two internal processors: “The higher-end processor will have similar computing power as the M1 for Mac, whereas the lower-end processor will be in charge of sensor-related computing,” Kuo writes.
What’s more, Kuo’s report notes that the headset’s AR/VR capabilities will require six-to-eight optical modules, compared to the iPhone’s load of up to three modules.
All of the hardware and computing power will probably come at a steep price for the consumer, as Engadget notes. A report about the headset in September from The Information suggested it would cost about $3,000.
Whether that hefty price tag will also pay for the kind of sophisticated biometric technology currently found in Apple’s iPhones remains to be seen. But with excitement about the ‘metaverse’ on the rise, Apple will likely be keen to ensure that its users are able to securely confirm their identities when transacting in virtual environments.