Apple has been rumoured to be working on a virtual reality headset for some years now, but Meta’s push to make the metaverse real has brought new attention to the Cupertino company’s efforts.
Now according to sources with Taiwanese suppliers, Apple may deliver the headset as early as this year.
ETNews reports that Apple is working with Taiwan’s TSMC to developed OLED displays for VR devices. Their headset display will reportedly feature micro OLED technology, which does not require color filters since OLEDs are deposited directly on the chip wafer. This means the resulting display can be smaller, thinner, and more efficient. The display will be powered by the Applie M1 chip and run a version of iOS. Performance test for VR headset production has reportedly already been recently completed.
Apple’s competitors are however not sitting on their laurels.
According to ETNews Samsung is working on an AR device with Hologram technology, developed by the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. Their headset will be powered by their in-house Exynos chip and run Android. The device will also be supported by technology from DigiLens, an American AR/extended reality (XR) technology company. A prototype has already been created, but no release date is rumoured yet.
Samsung is also co-developing a device with Microsoft, with a task force to do this already in place. Microsoft is also working on an own-brand device, powered by a Qualcomm processor and using a holographic display.
The company, which owns 70% of the VR market at present via Oculus, and which has kicked off the revival of the field is also working on a device using micro OLED technology, running Android and powered by a Qualcomm process.
“The metaverse device market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 80%, and emerge as a new market following smartphones,” notes an official from the parts industry. “The parts and equipment industry is also risking everything to become a partner.”