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Apple to Introduce New VR Headset, Expected to Be Lighter Than an iPhone

Apple VR Headset
Apple, the tech giant renowned for innovative technology, is reportedly working on its new virtual reality headset for the last few years. Although the company has not declared much detail about the upcoming product, people are devotedly trying to figure out what is in store for the consumers. Rumors are quite rife about the new headset and any confirmation about the device is yet to be made by Apple. However, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s insights, the headset is going to contain pioneering technology.

Adopting The Lens

As per the latest reports, Apple is working on adopting a hybrid Fresnel lens for their mixed reality/ virtual reality headset. This trailblazing technology will improve its optical performance to a significant extent and also, deliver a broader field of view. But most importantly, the hybrid Fresnel lens design is expected to make the headset weigh no more than 150 grams, which is less than an iPhone.

To date, most Virtual Reality headsets utilize Fresnel lenses. The technology was first invented around 200 years ago to guide lighthouse beams and enable them to focus on ultra-short focal lengths. However, according to the report of MacRumors, existing virtual reality headsets using the said technology typically weigh much heavier, to be precise around 300-400 grams due to the factor of bulky forms.

New Functions

Apple’s new VR headset, which is given the codename N301, will supposedly feature eye-tracking technology, 8K display, and over 12 cameras that would be able to track hand movement as well as capture live footage. This footage could be displayed right inside the VR headset. In his latest research, Kuo stated that the headset will have a plastic lens, a Micro-OLED display, and an ultra-short focal length.

The purpose of making the device using a plastic lens, instead of a glass lens, is to reduce the extra weight that glass adds to it. The alteration also raises speculations about the durability of the product. However, what material would be used to make this plastic lens is yet to be known. We are aware that VR devices do not produce the same experience as AR devices, as well as the former usually have a more compact form factor than the latter. But contrary to conventional design, Apple is all set to launch a VR device that is more lightweight and less clunky than any mixed reality device available on market.

A drawing by The Information of Apple's possible mixed-reality device
A drawing by The Information of Apple’s possible mixed-reality device

The N301

Dan Riccio, the former hardware chief of Apple Inc, has been recently moved into a new role. He is now reportedly overseeing VR and AR devices section. This could be a signal that the company is committed to launching the new product sooner rather than later. However, the device, like any other Apple product, might not be cheap. Rather, compared to other mixed reality headsets available in today’s market, could be in the high-expense range. According to insiders in the company, Apple has discussed the price of their new lightweight VR headset to be around $3000 (2,20,000 INR).

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