Apple’s long-rumored mixed reality headset could weigh less than 150 grams, which would make it much lighter than many other headsets on the market, according to a new research note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by 9to5Mac. That lighter weight might mean Apple’s headset could be easier to wear for long periods of time.
A weight of 150 grams would make Apple’s headset lighter than the Oculus Quest 2 (503 grams), Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 (645 grams), and the Valve Index (809 grams). It would be lighter than Google’s Daydream View, a fabric VR headset designed to hold your phone, which weighed 220 grams. The headset could even be lighter than your iPhone, given that the standard iPhone 12 weighs 164 grams.
As attractively light as this headset sounds, though, it might be a while until we get to try it out for ourselves. Bloomberg reported in January that the device, which may have both virtual reality and augmented reality features, won’t launch until at least 2022. The Information backed that up in February by reporting that the device could ship “as early as next year.” The Information also had a drawing of what the headset could look like, including mesh fabric in the front and Apple Watch-style bands in the back, and I could see how the device could be very light if made with those materials.
The headset, codenamed “N301,” may also have 8K displays, eye-tracking technology, and more than a dozen cameras to both track your hand movements and capture footage that can be displayed inside the headset, according to The Information. And in his new research note, Kuo reported that the device will have plastic lenses, an ultra-short focal length, and Micro-OLED displays.
But the headset may not be cheap: Apple has apparently discussed pricing the headset at around $3,000, The Information reported. That would make it much more expensive than the $299 Oculus Quest 2 but more affordable than the $3,500 HoloLens 2.
Apple’s device has already hit several development challenges, Bloomberg reported, and given how far out the rumored headset is, there’s always a possibility that details about the device could change. However, Apple recently moved Dan Riccio, its former hardware chief, into a role reportedly overseeing Apple’s AR and VR devices, which could signal the company’s commitment to launching a device sooner rather than later.