With bated breath, tech enthusiasts and professionals alike are on tenterhooks, anticipating the unveiling of Apple’s revolutionary mixed reality headset aka AR/VR headset. As the clock winds down, esteemed display analyst Ross Young has generously provided his expert perspective on the speculated specifications for the dual displays nestled within the headset.
Apple’s much-anticipated AR/VR headset, set to make its debut at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, has been the subject of numerous speculations. According to rumors, the headset is said to boast 4K micro OLED displays, delivering an impressive 8K total resolution. Notably, renowned analyst Ross Young suggests that each of the two displays will have a diagonal measurement of 1.41 inches, aiming for a remarkable brightness of over 5000 nits and an extraordinary pixel density of 4000 pixels per inch.
It is worth noting that rival companies like Sony and Meta typically do not disclose detailed specifications beyond resolution and pixel density for their AR/VR headsets. Hence, drawing a direct comparison becomes challenging. Nevertheless, the insights shared by Ross Young do provide some valuable context regarding the potential capabilities of Apple’s forthcoming headset.
The exceptional brightness of around 5000 nits or potentially higher in Apple’s AR/VR headset would enable support for high dynamic range (HDR) content, which is not commonly found in existing VR headsets available in the market. For instance, the Meta Quest 2 currently reaches a maximum brightness of approximately 100 nits without HDR capabilities, while the HoloLens 2 offers 500 nits of brightness. Sony’s upcoming PSVR 2 headset is expected to provide around 265 nits of brightness and advertises HDR functionality when connected to an HDR-compatible display.
With its impressive brightness capabilities, Apple’s headset seems poised to deliver a more immersive and visually stunning experience, particularly for content that leverages HDR technology. This advancement could set Apple’s offering apart from its competitors and elevate the overall quality of the AR/VR experience.
You want more, I will give you more: Micro OLED specs for Apple's AR/VR headset:— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) May 30, 2023
1.41" in diagonal
>5000 nits of brightness
Ross Young’s insight sheds further light on the significance of the 5000 nits peak brightness in Apple’s AR/VR headset. Peak brightness, in this context, is not intended to blind users but rather to enhance contrast, produce vibrant colors, and deliver exceptional highlights compared to existing headsets in the market.
In the case of standard dynamic range (SDR) displays, peak brightness is typically associated with how well a display performs in well-lit environments, akin to maximum brightness. However, in the realm of high dynamic range (HDR) displays, peak brightness serves as a metric for assessing a display’s ability to accurately depict colors and contrast. Therefore, the impressive 5000 nits peak brightness of Apple’s headset indicates its potential to deliver a visually captivating experience, with superior color representation and contrast levels.
In the realm of high-end televisions, it is indeed common to find devices that offer peak brightness levels ranging from around 2,000 to 5,000 nits. For instance, Samsung has a 98-inch TV that can reach the impressive brightness of 5,000 nits. Additionally, their Neo QLED TVs boast a peak brightness of 4,000 nits. Samsung promotes these TVs as delivering stunning color accuracy, intricate detail, and an exceptional contrast range, all of which contribute to an immersive viewing experience that goes beyond what the eye perceives in real life.
Apple’s AR/VR headset is rumored to boast an impressive 8K resolution, surpassing the resolution of headsets offered by Meta and other companies, including Meta’s highest-end Quest Pro 2. The Quest Pro 2, utilizing LCD display technology, currently offers a resolution of 1800 x 1920 pixels per eye, with a pixel density of approximately 1200 pixels per inch.
With its 8K resolution, Apple’s headset is expected to deliver an incredibly detailed and immersive visual experience. The higher pixel count per eye and increased pixel density can contribute to sharper images, enhanced clarity, and a more realistic portrayal of virtual environments.
Indeed, Apple’s AR/VR headset is anticipated to incorporate two high-quality panels to achieve the immersive virtual reality effect. As a consumer headset, it is expected to push the boundaries of technological advancement, aiming to offer a state-of-the-art experience to its users. However, due to the advanced features and cutting-edge technology it is rumored to possess, Apple’s headset is widely speculated to come with a higher price tag of approximately $3000.
In comparison, the pricing for Meta’s Quest 2 and Quest Pro headsets ranges from $349 to $999. It is important to note that the variations in pricing between different headsets can be attributed to factors such as the device’s capabilities, specifications, build quality, and the overall experience it delivers.
Apple’s AR/VR headset will indeed enjoy a significant advantage through its integration with Apple’s ecosystem of services, including TV+ and Fitness, as well as its extensive existing App Store library. According to reports from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, the headset is expected to have the capability to run any iPad app right out of the box. While further optimization will likely be pursued, the inclusion of the entire iPad App Store library at launch provides a substantial head start for the device.