Will we see Apple Glass in 2022 or 2023? Will Microsoft take back the device market with consumer facing augmented reality Hololens?
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Picture this: you’re walking down the street to that new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. In front of you, arrows light the way to your destination. To your right, a mannequin shows off a clothing store’s spring line--the outfit changing every few seconds. You look to the street and arrows appear above empty parking spaces. You look up and see today’s weather report. Welcome to Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality.
We can’t possibly know what our world will look like when augmented reality experiences become mainstream, but we do know the potential MR/AR applications are endless, and an augmented world like this may be closer than we think.
When is Apple releasing Apple Glass? Jon Prosser is at it again with another leak from Apple: their new augmented reality glasses, Apple Glass. He has a track record of reliable Apple leaks, and he has all sorts of interesting information on these glasses, which he says could be available as early as next year.
We don’t know for sure that his information is accurate--in fact everything in this article is merely educated speculation--though it’s a good sign that he has an 86% accuracy rate. A popular theory is that Apple pays him to “leak” information to increase buzz about their products, but he claims Apple is after him and his contacts to stop the leaks.
He claims Apple was planning to announce the impending release of Apple Glass at the end of this year as a “One More Thing” style announcement.
The Augmented Reality Glasses are not likely to be ready immediately at the time of announcement--that’s often how things go with Apple products. Instead, they’ll be available to consumers a few months after the announcement. Prosser predicts this will be at the end of 2021 or early 2022.
Prosser was very wrong. Our latest sources are expecting a potential announcement of Apple's Mixed Reality Headset at the earliest Q4 2022, most likely in 2023.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported in May 2022 that Apple had “recently demoed its upcoming AR/VR headset device to the Apple company board of directors.”
Bloomberg previously reported that a consumer launch for the headset is planned for 2023. But, an early announcement towards the end of 2022 is likely. This report also said that the development of the headset’s operating system named RealityOS has ramped up in recent months.
Analysts believe Apple’s MR headset will feature an “innovative three-display configuration”, with two micro OLED 4K displays and another AMOLED panel for low-resolution peripheral vision. It will likely include a powerful mobile CPU and GPU in the headset as well.
The rumored price is expected to be around $3,000 which is similar to competitors like the Microsoft HoloLens 2 ($3700) and Magic Leap 2 ($3300).
Hopefully after a successful launch of Apple's Mixed Reality Headset in 2023 we will progress towards a consumer facing, sleek pair of AR glasses as described by Prosser below. Our best current estimation leans towards a 2024 or 2025 release.
The Apple AR Glass design seems to be pretty basic--your typical wayfarer style glasses that look good on pretty much everyone. Prosser has seen a prototype and says, “they’re sleek as hell.” He described a plastic model, which could be changed to metal in the final product.
Using the iPhone to carry the bulk of processing power allows for a much sleeker design in the glasses themselves without added battery bulk. It’s unclear how the iPhone and glasses will communicate--via a wire, bluetooth, or a wifi connection--but the glasses will serve only as a display medium for the technology.
Similar to the capabilities of the apple watch to unlock your mac and iPhone, the glasses will have similar functionality--automatically authenticating and unlocking your other devices.
The glasses are predicted not to have any front facing cameras on them for privacy-related concerns. Instead they will have a LiDAR sensor on the right side of the glasses to get 3D scans of the room and properly interact with the space in AR.
“Starboard” is rumored to be the user interface for the glasses; you’ll be able to interact with the glasses by using gestures on and in front of the glasses. Specially designed, cone-shaped Apple QR codes are also predicted to play a huge role in the display of AR designs and information on the glasses.
For charging, the glasses come with what could be a plastic stand, on which the glasses rest upside down and open. This information is based on the prototype Prosser saw, and is subject to change in the final version.
Only the wearer will be able to see the displays coming up on the glasses. If you’re looking at someone wearing them, you won’t be able to tell that they’re displaying anything. The first launch is also thought not to include a sunglasses version of the glasses, as Apple is having trouble getting the displays to work on tinted lenses, but they may come down the road.
We fully expect a complete MR/AR/VR integration in the coming decades, with huge advances coming in the next few years--the possibilities for business and advertising are too great to pass up. Extended reality is the fourth wave of computing. Expect plenty more announcements from big tech in the near future.
Industry 4.0 is transforming the way businesses run and opening the door for revolutionary business models to overtake now outdated methodologies.
2021 is a year for significant growth in the augmented reality market. The question remains: will the wearables released this year shift to the consumer market?