Apple AR Headset or Microsoft HoloLens: Which will Gain Market share?

Apple AR Headset or Microsoft HoloLens: Which will Gain Market share? 

Last updated on September 9th, 2020

The increasing popularity of augmented reality headsets has surely made companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google to think about using the most advanced technologies to build future hardware. Viewed as a head-mounted display device simulating visual environment via physical display optic lenses, these ace devices help the user to see both a digital display and the world using smart glasses.

Sources aware of the matter recently revealed the plans of Apple to launch an AR headset in 2022 that will be followed by a sleeker pair of AR glasses by 2023. The Apple headset will create augmented reality using cameras similar to existing modern iPhones and iPads. However, reports claim that the tech giant will reduce the size of the camera with a set of AR glasses labelled “N421”, which can be worn all day.

According to a report, the executives of Apple discussed the timelines in October, in an internal presentation to employees at a meeting led by Mike Rockwell, Vice President of Apple. The AR on an iPhone can let the user place a digital couch in living room to see if it is the right buy to make.

The Apple AR headset would depend on video pass-through, meaning that it will use cameras to relay a view of the real world within the headset. Apple hasn’t revealed much of the specifications as of now.

The Microsoft and Magic Leap headset, on the other hand, use a different mechanism as they project digital images on transparent glass.

The Microsoft HoloLens and HoloLens 2 use augmented reality technology, but they are large and bulky. As of now, the HoloLens 2 technology is being tested by the army, in its IVAS headset, that makes soldiers more lethal and can be worn on battlefield for safety purposes.

Announced in February, the pre-order details of HoloLens 2 came out in May 2019. Though the  shipping of the headset started recently only, in the second week of November.

With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor, a custom second-generation holographic processing unit (HPU), the AR headset has an 8MP front-facing camera for 1080p/30Hz recording. It has WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 and tracker for eyes and 6 degrees of freedom head movement.

The main issue for the Microsoft device is its pricing at $3,500 per unit restricting it in the realm of a “business tool” that can’t be viewed as a “fun new toy”.

Proving itself as boss of the game, Apple will launch the new iPad Pro with a 3D sensor system early in 2020, that would help users create 3D representations of rooms, objects and people. The new model, unlike the current model, will have a pair of camera sensors along with a hole for the 3D system. 

In the current scenario, all firms making the AR headset are in a race to make the smart glasses as light as possible with the idea that it can replace phones, computers and televisions altogether.

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