Apple will supposedly integrate a hybrid Fresnel lens design into its unannounced mixed reality headset. The decision to utilize this specific lens design is to ensure that the headset maintains a lightweight over competitors. A weight of fewer than 150 grams or one-third of a pound is being targeted for the headset.
News of Apple’s adoption of the hybrid Fresnel lens design comes from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who released a report obtained by MacRumors. Kuo claims that on top of maintaining a low weight, the Fresnel design will also allow Apple to improve optical performance and allow a broad field of view (FOV) for the user.
According to Kuo, the hybrid Fresnel design will consist of two stacks (one per eye) of three Fresnel lenses. With a total of six Fresnel lenses, Apple will supposedly use lightweight plastic lenses with customized materials and coatings supplied by Young Optics with Genius Electronic Optical in an assisting role.
Many other VR headsets utilize Fresnel lenses as they are able to focus what is commonly known as lighthouse beams as they are able to focus light while being physically narrow in size. However, many of the competitor’s headsets also feature more bulky designs, resulting in a heavier device for the user. It’s been reported that Apple is developing a lightweight frame for the headset. Paired with a hybrid Fresnel lens design, the company may be able to achieve its targeted weight.
The purpose of this design is to improve FOV and reduce weight and thickness. We believe that Apple will use a hybrid Fresnel lens design further to enhance the Fresnel lens’s optical performance (e.g., improve vignetting and optical artifacts), and each hybrid Fresnel lens comprises three stacked Fresnel lenses.
We believe that Apple’s design will achieve a better balance between HMD’s FOV and form factor.
Apple’s mixed reality headset has long been speculated to be in development with a reported release window of 2022. Reports have also stated the headset will feature an advanced eye-tracking system and 15 camera modules.