Apple's mixed reality headset could have Mac-level performance

nanoguy

Posts: 1,046   +15
Staff member
Rumor mill: Apple’s much-awaited mixed reality headset is still at least one year away, but more details have surfaced about the mysterious device. The company will reportedly use custom silicon to make a standalone headset instead of a tethered one, and this could pave the way for the creation of a separate apps and services ecosystem in the future.

Apple's augmented reality headset is widely expected to break cover sometime in 2022, although industry watchers aren't on the same page when it comes to the launch window and the price tag, which could be in the same ballpark as devices like the Magic Leap One and the Microsoft HoloLens 2.

The hardware that will power the new device is also a mystery, with most reports suggesting the Cupertino giant had to create several pieces of custom silicon to ensure the headset will also be able to operate independently from a Mac or iPhone at least some of the time. Some of these rumors have now been confirmed by renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who believes the device will most likely be slated for a late 2022 launch.

Kuo says the device will be powered by a chipset similar to the M1 SoC that Apple integrated into the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13, Mac mini, and the iMac. This will be accompanied by a lower-end chipset that will handle all the sensor data from the device. Together, these chipsets will supposedly enable the device to operate untethered, whereas earlier reports disagreed on whether it would be able to do so.

The headset will also support virtual reality experiences, and to that end, it will be equipped with two 4K Micro OLED displays manufactured by Sony. The AR experiences will be enabled by 6 to 8 optical modules, up from 3 that are necessary on an iPhone 13. As for connectivity, Kuo says Apple will integrate Wi-Fi 6E technology into the headset to ensure high bandwidth and low interference with other devices.

Some speculate Apple CEO Tim Cook wants to oversee the launch of one major new product category before he retires from the current role, and a mixed reality headset could be it. Kuo says Apple may be looking to gradually replace the iPhone with augmented reality headsets and glasses over the next ten years. If it does, it could end up selling as many as one billion units over the next decade.

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Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,980   +1,568
That awkward moment when your mates glasses have more computing power than your chunky 8 core gaming laptop.

Apple really are killing it right now. I find it highly amusing how the M1 is faster than windows flagship ARM device when the M1 is emulating Windows on ARM.

 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,109   +799
That awkward moment when your mates glasses have more computing power than your chunky 8 core gaming laptop.

Apple really are killing it right now. I find it highly amusing how the M1 is faster than windows flagship ARM device when the M1 is emulating Windows on ARM.

I know right, sell you laptops guys gaming on an iPhone is where its at...
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,660   +3,318
TechSpot Elite
That awkward moment when your mates glasses have more computing power than your chunky 8 core gaming laptop.

Apple really are killing it right now. I find it highly amusing how the M1 is faster than windows flagship ARM device when the M1 is emulating Windows on ARM.
I mean, the device is going to be going for lightweight and long battery. There's no way they're putting in the latest/greatest M series chip into this...

Also keep in mind that commercially, Apple has purchased the latest silicon process for their chips (highest transistor density). A wonderful incentive for the competition to step up their game, but it's only a temporary advantage.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,980   +1,568
I mean, the device is going to be going for lightweight and long battery. There's no way they're putting in the latest/greatest M series chip into this...

Also keep in mind that commercially, Apple has purchased the latest silicon process for their chips (highest transistor density). A wonderful incentive for the competition to step up their game, but it's only a temporary advantage.
The M series uses very little power, this is why everyone is impressed with it. It uses less power than U series Intel/AMD. They put one in an iPad, these glasses will need more processing power than the iPad if it’s got 2 4K screens so it does actually make sense to use an M series chip. Besides, Apple doesn’t have any silicon that uses less power!

Also Apple often use the same silicon across their lineup of products. Even the budget ones.


I know right, sell you laptops guys gaming on an iPhone is where its at...
I don’t actually have a gaming laptop, way too big and heavy for me. But I would be more likely to buy a pair VR glasses. If only VR gaming didn’t make me sick!
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,660   +3,318
TechSpot Elite
The M series uses very little power, this is why everyone is impressed with it. It uses less power than U series Intel/AMD. They put one in an iPad, these glasses will need more processing power than the iPad if it’s got 2 4K screens so it does actually make sense to use an M series chip. Besides, Apple doesn’t have any silicon that uses less power!

Also Apple often use the same silicon across their lineup of products. Even the budget ones.
You misunderstood. All I was implying was that they wouldn't use the latest/greatest M series (so, not more powerful than recent gaming laptops). A low powered M series specific for the MR headset would still be an M series.....
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,980   +1,568
You misunderstood. All I was implying was that they wouldn't use the latest/greatest M series (so, not more powerful than recent gaming laptops). A low powered M series specific for the MR headset would still be an M series.....
Most modern gaming laptops have weaker CPUs than the current M1 when comparable, which is difficult as they use different OS and software but this VR headset will get Apples optimisations. Most gaming laptops don’t have the fastest laptop CPUs available anyway. You have to pay an obscene amount to get a laptop with a 5900H inside it, or soon, the Intel 12th gen stuff which will be faster, these are often for “mobile workstations”. The gaming laptops will likely be faster at windows gaming but in general, without optimisation they will be weaker than Apples custom silicon.

Currently the Mac, Mac Mini, MacBook Air and iPad all use an M1 chip. These are all “low powered” as you say. But sure, I can’t see them putting in an M1 Pro or an M1 max. Apple actually typically do update CPUs for each generation so personally I’d be surprised if this article is incorrect and they go with an older design than they put in their current iPads, Mac mini’s etc. Especially as a VR headset would likely need more compute power than any of those devices. The article states the chip is custom built, if it is it will likely be faster than Intel/AMD laptop parts for VR use.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,660   +3,318
TechSpot Elite
Most modern gaming laptops have weaker CPUs than the current M1 when comparable, which is difficult as they use different OS and software but this VR headset will get Apples optimisations. Most gaming laptops don’t have the fastest laptop CPUs available anyway. You have to pay an obscene amount to get a laptop with a 5900H inside it, or soon, the Intel 12th gen stuff which will be faster, these are often for “mobile workstations”. The gaming laptops will likely be faster at windows gaming but in general, without optimisation they will be weaker than Apples custom silicon.

Currently the Mac, Mac Mini, MacBook Air and iPad all use an M1 chip. These are all “low powered” as you say. But sure, I can’t see them putting in an M1 Pro or an M1 max. Apple actually typically do update CPUs for each generation so personally I’d be surprised if this article is incorrect and they go with an older design than they put in their current iPads, Mac mini’s etc. Especially as a VR headset would likely need more compute power than any of those devices. The article states the chip is custom built, if it is it will likely be faster than Intel/AMD laptop parts for VR use.
Ah, moving the goal posts as to what you define as gaming laptops, got it. Also, they won't be using a full powered M1 in a headset (no dedicated GPU either), so your points are moot.

On an unrelated note, my phone is also more powerful than a gaming laptop. Well a cheap one. And modern, but from a few years ago. Also, forget the GPU.....
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,980   +1,568
Ah, moving the goal posts as to what you define as gaming laptops, got it. Also, they won't be using a full powered M1 in a headset (no dedicated GPU either), so your points are moot.

Otherwise, my phone is also more powerful than a gaming laptop. Well a cheap one. And maybe modern, but from a few years ago. Also, forget the GPU.....
You seem to be sensitive to the cold hard fact that the M1 is faster than most laptop CPUs. So let me repeat it again, the M1 is faster than most laptop CPUs.

You are also incorrect, your phone does not have an M1 chip and unless you have an iPhone 13 it’s not even close. And even then the iPhone13 parts are still a little way off.

You appear to have poor knowledge on CPUs and GPUs. Feel free to DM me and I will happily
educate you.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,660   +3,318
TechSpot Elite
You seem to be sensitive to the cold hard fact that the M1 is faster than most laptop CPUs. So let me repeat it again, the M1 is faster than most laptop CPUs.

You are also incorrect, your phone does not have an M1 chip and unless you have an iPhone 13 it’s not even close. And even then the iPhone13 parts are still a little way off.

You appear to have poor knowledge on CPUs and GPUs. Feel free to DM me and I will happily
educate you.
Oh, now you're getting specific with saying "CPU"? Congrats.

And man, if that "moving goalposts" analogy flew over your head, we're done here lol
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 737   +537
Is this so we can see pokemon in the wild - so they can have virtual adverts ?
Apple do hardware well - but software/games ?
Looking at the strap - just like swimming goggles.
So maybe you can watch fish while you swim at your local pool.
Plus does it look like you can't see through it - so camera+ AR = view??

Does apple have hand/sensor input devices ?

so what is it for - playing pokemon go in AR - and casting iphone screen - no says can be untethered - why would you walk around with these monstrosities ? to teach you how to a better worker ( igrinder ) - go here , grab this , work there , put it in that box .
How many great AR apps do we have on phones - any worthwhile app - should be worthwhile on a phone as well - just holding screen in front of you - driving - already have stuff projected on windscreen ( hud?? - something word like that )
a tinder/grinder app - that shows matches as you walk around in your cool goggles

can someone tell me the killer app. that's so good you would actually wear these extensively - and not be your own home getting fit/playing a game / being taught how to cook by a AR person
 

psycros

Posts: 3,823   +4,964
Is this so we can see pokemon in the wild - so they can have virtual adverts ?
Apple do hardware well - but software/games ?
Looking at the strap - just like swimming goggles.
So maybe you can watch fish while you swim at your local pool.
Plus does it look like you can't see through it - so camera+ AR = view??

Does apple have hand/sensor input devices ?

so what is it for - playing pokemon go in AR - and casting iphone screen - no says can be untethered - why would you walk around with these monstrosities ? to teach you how to a better worker ( igrinder ) - go here , grab this , work there , put it in that box .
How many great AR apps do we have on phones - any worthwhile app - should be worthwhile on a phone as well - just holding screen in front of you - driving - already have stuff projected on windscreen ( hud?? - something word like that )
a tinder/grinder app - that shows matches as you walk around in your cool goggles

can someone tell me the killer app. that's so good you would actually wear these extensively - and not be your own home getting fit/playing a game / being taught how to cook by a AR person

Its a product in search of a market. The only place it has the slightest bit of utility is with high-end service professionals who could benefit from a virtual overlay.
 

Lounds

Posts: 995   +897
I'm not saying Apple won't make this a success, but Facebook/Meta have a good 6 years of development and market share.