The report predicts that MR (Mixed Reality) /AR (Augment Reality) is the next key technology that defines the human-machine interface of electronic products, which is why Apple is heavily invested in MR/AR. From the perspective of shipments, the report believes that the mainstream in the future will be MR/AR, and devices that only support VR (Virtual reality) are mainly targeted at niche markets.
The report predicts that Apple’s MR/AR product blueprint is divided into three stages, namely Helmet type products in 2022, Glasses type products in 2025, and Contact lens type products in 2030-2040). It is expected that helmet-type products can provide AR and VR experiences, while glasses-type products and contact lens-type products are more likely to focus on AR services.
Based on the latest survey and understanding of the industry, Ming-Chi Kuo made the following predictions for the above-mentioned equipment in the report:
Helmet type products:
1. The Helmet type product (Mixed Reality Headset) is expected to be launched in the middle of 2022.
2. The current weight of several prototypes is 200–300 grams. If Apple can successfully solve the key technical problems, the weight of the final product will be reduced to 100–200 grams, which is significantly lighter than all current VR products.
3. This product will provide a Video see-through AR experience through the Micro-OLED display and several optical modules provided by Sony. This product can also provide a VR experience.
4. The design complexity of this product is higher than the iPhone, which means that the price of this product may be similar to the high-end iPhone (we estimate about US$1,000).
5. Have independent computing power and storage space.
6. The product positioning of the first generation helmet products is more like a portable product than a mobile product. After the technology improves, the report believes that helmet products can also improve mobility.
7. The report believes that the key to the success of the first generation of helmet products is to provide a very smooth display and operation process for MR/AR applications.
8. Although Apple has always focused on AR, in terms of hardware specifications, the report believes that the immersive experience provided by this product is expected to significantly surpass existing VR products. The report believes that Apple may highly integrate the helmet product and image-related applications (such as Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, etc.) as a key selling point.
Glasses type products:
1. It is expected to be launched in 2025 at the earliest. The report believes that there is no prototype yet.
2. It is possible that the technology developed by Apple and similar to the Wave guide will be used to provide an optical see-through AR experience.
3. May have the independent computing power and storage space.
4. The positioning of glasses-style products is mobile products.
5. The report believes that the positioning of glasses-type products and helmet-type products are not completely the same, so in the future, the two product lines may move in parallel at the same time. Helmet-type products can provide an excellent immersive experience, while glasses-type products are more focused on providing a “mobile + AR” experience.
6. The report looks forward to integrating glasses-style products with Apple Car and providing an innovative user experience.
Contact lens type products:
1. The launch schedule is undetermined. The report predicts that this is a product after 2030.
2. This product will bring electronic products from the era of “visible computing” to the era of “invisible computing”.
3. In terms of current technical visibility, this product is unlikely to have the independent computing power and storage space.