Apple and Meta* are preparing to present next year the new generation's mixed reality garrisons, providing a fundamentally new user experience from a combination of real and virtual objects, and it is expected that the cost of new devices will not be the most affordable, and may be higher than the existing solutions.
For example, today, the world's Meta*Quest 2 is sold for just $400 in some countries, accounting for 78% of the emerging IDC VR market in 2021.
Meta* and Apple are already working on a technology called "split mixed reality" that requires better displays and computational modules than those used now. If everything works as promised, the VR garrison will also function as points of enhanced reality, expanding the possibility of use in the real world.
In models of this type, the camera on the outside of the device will broadcast two or more displays of environmental reality, at least one per eye. This will make it easy to place all kinds of interface elements, text and random graphics on the video. Ideally, users will receive devices the size of classical glasses in the future.
In addition to the cameras, such electronics should be equipped with depth sensors that allow for topography analysis of environmental reality, such as virtual objects. In addition, large computing capacity and, of course, very large resolution displays are required to prevent the user from seeing individual pixels. According to the CounterPoint Research, if the average density of pixels in smartphone displays is now about 500 pixels per inch, it should be as high as 3,500 in VR/AR devices.
Although Apple and Meta* have not yet submitted their devices, some AR solutions are already available on the market, but most of them provide monochrome and/or low-quality video because of lack of computing capacity. Or, as the Varjo XR-3 model, they should use cable connection to a powerful computer.
The Varjo XR-3 garrison provides a full-colored mixed reality with a low delay time, but is primarily designed for business users because it costs $6,495 in retail or $1,500 per year of lease, while the model, unlike the classic VR garrisons, also provides interaction with the real world in the process. It is worth noting that the version is equipped with two displays with a resolution of 2,880 x 2,720 pixels.
Meta* and Apple are working on devices that do not require connection to the computer and rely on their own computing capabilities, but it is difficult to make a light, convenient and, above all, accessible device of this type.
According to Bloomberg and other publications, Apple is working on a device that resembles ski glasses with a chip of its own development. It is expected that each of the two displays will support a resolution of at least 4K. According to Meta* its Cambridge garrison project will be released as early as this year, a new one also looks like ski glasses and, as the developer has reported, will cost $800 more.
The metahuman developers rely mainly on cross-cutting mixed reality technology. The competitive option is to use transparent displays integrated into the optics to "install" computer graphics into the real world. Something like this is used in Microsoft Hololens and Magic Leap solutions.
Transparent displays also cost quite a lot and have a number of problems of their own: they don't do well in bright sunlight, and the existing solutions provide a fairly low image quality. It is therefore possible that, in the case of resource costs, it is the technology with non-transparent displays and external cameras that will win.
* Listed on the list of voluntary associations and religious organizations in respect of which the court has taken a legally enforceable decision to abolish or prohibit activities on the grounds provided for in Federal Act No. 114-FZ of 25 July 2002 on countering extremist activities.