A new report was released adding details to Apple’s rumoured mixed reality headset. The report stated that Apple had successfully completed a number of production tests, one of the final checkpoints before a product is ready for market. It must be stated though that there are no official details yet about what the headset will look like or what features it will have, but we can expect something noteworthy considering Apple’s track record.
The ever-rumored mixed reality headset from Apple was initially expected to have a release date in 2023. However, a new production report, caught initially by DigiTimes Asia, suggests entering volume production in August or September 2022. The reason is that Apple has now completed the second-phase engineering validation and testing, or EVT2 which suggests the headset may be one step closer to reality.
However, the headset still must pass EVT3 testing, scheduled to begin “soon”, as DigiTimes states. They also mention that Apple is working on a second-generation headset with a more consumer focus than its predecessor.
According to DigiTimes’ sources, the second-generation headset will arrive in 2023 and feature several user-friendly upgrades, such as improved weight and battery life, as well as a more customer-friendly price tag. However, the features of the second headset from Apple will not be as advanced in processing power as the first generation.
This is intriguing news, as previous rumors claimed a cost ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. So despite Apple’s strong reputation and premium quality, a significant reduction in pricing looks likely to ensure broad market adoption.
The first stage (EVT1) is where the product idea is refined, with an extensive definition of product functions clarified, while linked with company strategy and market/customer fit. The onus is that after these innovation stages are completed, a universal document called a Product Requirement Document, or PRD, is generated. This document is then sent to engineers who begin testing.
This first testing stage is where the premium Apple MR headset has been percolating for a while, with reported thermodynamics and overheating issues, but now is rumored by DigiTimes to have exited.
The next stage, after EVT, is known as DVT or Design Validation and testing (what the DigiTimes report called EVT2). Here the Apple headset will be tested to see whether it fulfils the requirements setout in EVT1.
After achieving this the product will be manufactured in small amounts and subjected to many stress tests. This may include dropping it from a specific height, burning it, testing if it is waterproof and so on. Furthermore, tests are conducted to verify long-term battery life and paint tests to ensure that it doesn’t fade and is durable enough to avoid scratches. The goal of the DVT is to improve the manufacturing process and perhaps, replace the components to meet headset requirements. Additionally, this stage is to comply with relevant certifications such as Ingress Protection (IP rating), or how waterproof the product is.
The last test is called PVT or Production Validation and Testing and is where mass production enters the picture. A pilot production line is set up to check for any issues in the manufacturing process, while it also will allow Apple to fine-tune the procedure.
Sometimes, there is the last stage called DFA, or Design for Assembly, where engineers discover the best and most efficient method to assemble the headset once all the components are produced.
The main point is that the Apple HMD, while it seems like it could enter mass-production this year, still has multiple stages to go.
While there is no confirmed release date as of now, it seems that Apple’s rumored mixed reality headset may begin mass production this year, hinting at a product announcement this year. This would make sense, seeing as the company has been working on the product for a few years now.
Jakob Pii is Writer at VR Expert and currently lives in the UK. He started his career in VR gaming in 2015 and has stayed in XR since, from exposure therapy in VR to 360-degree video documentaries. He is fascinated by how emerging technologies change how we live, play and work.