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Apple's mixed reality headset said to weigh "less than an iPhone"

Apple's mixed reality headset said to weigh "less than an iPhone"
(Image credit: Antonio DeRosa / aderosa.myportfolio.com)

Last week it emerged that Apple could release a mixed-reality headset in "mid-2022". Now, tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has made another big prediction: the high-tech headgear will tip the scales at under 150g – less than an iPhone.

According to research seen by 9to5Mac, the well-known Apple watcher claims Cupertino's long-awaited VR headset will be significantly lighter than rivals and therefore more comfortable to wear, especially for long periods.

Apparently the device, which is expected to hook up to Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade, will be equipped with super-light lenses made of plastic rather than glass. Surely that would affect performance? Not according Kuo, who says Apple will use Micro OLED displays to make up for any drop in brightness and clarity.

Today's development ties with Kuo's recent claim that Apple has "several prototypes" of the mixed reality helmet, and that engineers are working to reduce the weight of the finished version to 100g - 200g. 

For comparison, the standard iPhone 12 weighs 164g – that's significantly less than current VR headset such as the Oculus Quest 2 (645g) and Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality headset (528g).

Kuo has form when it comes to leaking details of Apple's rumoured headset, seen above in a speculative sketch by designer Antonio DeRosa. Way back in October 2020, he tipped it to provide both a "see-through AR experience" and "a VR experience." He also revealed that the device would be "portable," with its own battery and processor, but "not totally wireless".

More recently, The Information weighed in with some juicy rumours of its own. According to "a person with direct knowledge of the device", the headset will boast more than a dozen cameras for tracking hand movements, along with "ultra-high-resolution 8K displays and advanced technology for eye tracking."

It might sound like the distant future, but Kuo reckons Apple has already discussed pricing. And according to The Information, Apple hopes to sell 250,000 units in the first year at around $3000 (£2200, AU$4000) each.

If Terminator-style goggles aren't your cup of tea, Apple is expected to launch a new iPad Pro 2021 in April, followed by a new Apple TV later this year. There's also, of course, the inevitable iPhone 13.

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