Contrary to a previous report, Apple is planning to launch its first AR headset in 2022 following it up with an even smaller – and hopefully, more mass market – pair of AR glasses in 2023. The Information reports, citing internal presentations made at Apple’s headquarters, that both its AR headset and AR glasses will be based on a “new 3D sensor system” that’s set to debut in the next iPad Pro and also then make its way to the 2020 iPhones.
The report also has some hardware intricacies to share. Apple’s AR headset is reportedly codenamed N301 and it is said to look a lot like Facebook’s Oculus Quest – only slimmer. But while the Oculus Quest supports VR only, Apple’s headset will offer both VR and AR capabilities. Structurally, it would have external cameras for mapping a user’s surroundings and a high-resolution display.
As for its AR glasses, quite obviously, these should be relatively more mainstream – unlike say the Google Glass - with the report suggesting that “current prototypes look like high-priced sunglasses with thick frames that house the battery and chips.” These AR glasses could feature lenses that darken when in use, so others would know that the user is on to something.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, Apple is also mulling the idea of bringing a dedicated App Store to its AR devices (the AR glasses in particular) – sort of like the Apple Watch. And with Apple being Apple, we can expect more high-quality apps to make use of all that power and tech. Much like any other Apple product, its smart AR devices are also expected “to synchronize with a wearer’s iPhone to display things such as texts, emails, maps, and games over the user’s field of vision.” The Information reports that Apple would reach out to developers to build relevant software for its AR devices from 2021.
Apple’s been serious about augmented reality for a while now and it has been making hardware that’s powerful enough to handle AR – better than most Android phones out there. But given the wide expanse of its hardware, Apple has still been unable to make a stong case for AR. But with more and more information trickling in lately, there’s no doubt that Apple is on to something – big, hopefully.