Apple’s Mixed Reality headset could weigh less than 150 grams

Apple has been rumoured to be developing a set of augmented reality (or mixed reality, as the Cupertino titan prefers to call it) for several years now – and a surprising report has revealed that while the headset could pack in some powerful tech, the end product might be lighter than we all expected.

According to acclaimed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s mixed reality headset will reportedly weigh less than an iPhone 12, and could only weigh in at less than 150 grams. That’s despite the headset carrying a reported 15 camera modules, eye-tracking technology, a micro-LED display and supporting an 8K resoluton.

Weight is an important factor when developing a headset, as lighter units place less stress on a user’s face. Comparatively, Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 headset weighs in a 566 grams.

Apple will, apparently, launch the product with hybrid ultra-short focal length lenses that are lighter than their standard couterparts and are made of plastic instead of glass.

As Kuo cites:

The purpose of this design is to improve FOV and reduce weight and thickness. We believe that Apple will use a hybrid Fresnel lens design further to enhance the Fresnel lens’s optical performance (e.g., improve vignetting and optical artifacts), and each hybrid Fresnel lens comprises three stacked Fresnel lenses. We believe that Apple’s design will achieve a better balance between HMD’s FOV and form factor.

While Apple’s headset might be a lightweight, its price tag certaintly won’t be. Kuo has previously offered an expectation that the product could retail for more than $1,000 USD.

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