'Apple Glass' micro OLED in development

Concept by Eunho Kim

According to reports, Apple continues research and development on its upcoming augmented reality headset known as "Apple Glass". The latest points to collaboration with long-time supplier TSMC to create a cutting-edge display for the wearable device. Micro OLED elements are built more like semiconductors than regular LCD or OLED displays. The concept rendering above by Eunho Kim takes existing Apple design language and imagines what a pair of AR glasses might look like.

Using micro OLED would provide a thinner profile and offer extremely efficient power consumption, which is important for light weight and portability. Nikkei Asia explains that TSMC is already the only supplier to provide iPhone processors to Apple, and their partnership on micro OLED development only brings the two companies closer together.

The micro OLED displays themselves are smaller than an inch in size, and would take a few years to ramp up to mass production. The hardware would be an ideal fit for augmented reality glasses, or a headset combining AR and VR technologies. Apple is also said to be working on homegrown displays for future Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac products. In the meantime, Apple continues to source display components mostly from Samsung.

Apple Glass could hit the market as early as 2023. Apple is said to have a team of 1,000 engineers working on the project, which has already resulted in at least one prototype "T288" headset. Rumors describe Apple Glass as a wearable AR system that would make it possible to project live content onto surfaces and objects anywhere in a room in 3D. Gaming, virtual meetings, and watching video would be the main emphasis of Apple Glass.

Of course, Apple and TSMC have not commented on the reports.