It’s now more than 10 years that Apple has been exploring Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies. With Apple’s patent filing coupled with the launch of ARKit in June 2017 it’s evident that Apple’s first AR/VR product (likely to be named Apple Glasses) is not that far in the future.
It’s been rumoured now that Apple has deployed dozens of employees in developing “Better than ever before” tech in the respective fields. Reports from macrumors.com and 9to5mac.com suggests that among many rumoured products , two would be making it soon to the markets.
• Ultra-powered AR/VR headsets
• Augmented reality smart glasses
According to THE INFORMATION , Apple plans to release an augmented reality headset latest by 2022 followed by a more user friendly and sleeker pair of AR glasses by 2023.
Google came up with Google Glass , Snapchat with Snapchat’s Spectacles.
Both of which had enthusiasts growling to try them. But sooner everyone realised they were not exactly what they had hoped for.
Apple now definitely has an advantage learning from the pitfalls of these platforms going ahead into designing of the product.
Apple Glasses are expected to run on Starboard , a custom OS Apple introduced in the final version of iOS 13. If the pandemic shows signs to slow down we can expect Apple to show us a glimpse of Apple glass as soon as at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 22nd this year.
The latest leaked prototypes look like a pair of Bose frames barring the speakers with an Apple logo. Although for now the material on the prototypes seems to be plastic but as we all know Apple has the monopoly in material manufacturing,driving the prices of certain materials. So we can expect the best available materials on the Apple Glasses.
There’s a LiDAR scanner ( seen latest on the 2020 iPad Pro lineups and rumoured to be on the iPhone 12 lineup as well) on the right side of the glasses for depth sensing used in AR. For now , we do not see any cameras due to privacy concerns but that could change . The Glasses will also come with a stand and a wireless charger.
I don’t expect the glasses to be as light as an aviator or a Ray-ban wayfarer but the heft won’t be uncomfortable and one can easily replace them with their everyday glasses. Although the first generation glasses won’t come with a regular or day-night tint , maybe we can see that in a later gen variant or a pro variant with bumped up prices – typical Apple .
Just like Apple Watch , Apple Glass will also do all the processing remotely through iPhone and won’t come with a dedicated chipset of its own . However initially it was said that Apple considered using the U1 or the H1 chips in the Glasses directly but later dropped it as it made the glasses much heavier.
According to a Bloomberg report, the Apple Glasses will bring information from your phone to your face just like the watch brings it to our wrists and display things such as texts, emails, map-directions, and games over the user’s field of vision creating a true augmented reality experience as opposed to 2-D floating information like we see in a car’s heads up display .
For motion content like videos the iPhone has to process all the video captured by the glasses’ cameras and send back the 3D imagery to the glasses at a very high frame rate (with 120Hz refresh rate being speculated for now) , for that it will require a much higher bandwidth than what Bluetooth can provide and hence its supposed to have the latest WiFi chip from Apple.
We can expect a minimum of four hours and bundled with a wireless charging case it won’t be much of an issue to spend the day without worrying much for battery just like with the Apple AirPods.
According to Jon Prosser , a reputed Apple leaker , the Apple Glasses are currently priced at $499 i.e, roughly ₹37,485 (as of June 2 ,2020) plus prescription fees. That’s a lot of money especially in India for a spectacles, but compared to a highly competing international market where augmented reality headsets like the Microsoft Hololens 2 which start at a price tag of $3,500 (~₹2,63,000 ) which is a sky-to-ground difference. Although one can argue that the HoloLens 2 has much higher hardware specs compared to Apple Glass .
What I think :
I personally think that just like Apple did with the iPod , the iPad and the iPhone , driving inspiration from similar products in the current niche market and revolutionising it using it’s massive R&D and financial support in such a new , useful and user-focused manner making the product 10xtimes better than the closest competitor. gaining majority of the market share of that product – the basic principle of a monopoly business and with generation updates, making the Apple Glasses an essential part of the Apple ecosystem .
Also, it won’t be far when brands like Xiaomi , Realme and countless rip-off brands start manufacturing similar looking product with cheaper quality and reduced prices, basically , the Apple AirPods story relived.
But in all this we definitely will dive deeper in the world of Augmented and Virtual reality , one which earlier was limited to a James Bond movie or to a high budgeted hollywood Sci- fi saga on Netflix.
Another interesting rumour that is in making some developments is that Apple might also introduce a Steve Jobs version of Apple Glasses likely to be named as “Steve Jobs Heritage Edition” ( According to Jon Prosser). The design of the The Glasses will be similar to the iconic round , rimless spectacles Jobs used to wear. For all we know right now is that , it just might be part of a marketing campaign later or a Limited Edition version.
In other Apple news – as per reports by TechRadar and Youtuber EverythingApplePro Apple will also showcase The AirPods Studio. It will be launched at the virtual 2020 Apple WWDC submit alongside the iPhone 12.
Rumour has it that the the AirPods Studio will support some of the already loved features of AirPods Pro. It’ll have magnetic swappable parts so that users can use the same pair of headsets in multiple use-cases.
That’s all in today’s first edition of updated. – till next time stay safe , stay engaged – see u in the next one .