The mysterious Apple AR project is finally approaching the liftoff phase, according to Morgan Stanley analysts (via Investor’s Business Daily).
“The enormity of the technical challenge — compressing daylong battery, 5G, compute, cameras, lidar, projectors and wave guide lenses into a lightweight, attractive pair of glasses — is hard to overstate, but we are approaching liftoff,” read the Morgan Stanley’s note to investors.
Apparently, Apple’s AR project is now matching the development cycle of the first Apple Watch. There were a number of patent applications right before the official announcement of the Watch back in 2014, and analysts from Morgan Stanley think that we’re seeing the same thing with the Apple AR headset project, suggesting that the launch is drawing near.
Apple Glass AR release date
The leaks and rumors surrounding the potential launch of the Apple AR have been circulating the web in the past few years.
The first information about the unveiling of the Apple AR came from the famous analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who stated that the Apple AR headset, which may be called Apple Glasses, is expected to launch in 2020 at the earliest.
Bloomberg, on the other hand, thinks that the launch won’t happen before 2023, and The Information cites 2022 as the potential year for the project to be officially unveiled.
Jon Prosser also chimed in with an opinion, saying that the Apple AR headset could be launched as early as next year, corroborating the information about a 2022 announcement.
Finally, tech insider Robert Scobble said that we’re gearing up for a 2022 release. According to the Scobleizer, the Apple Glass AR/VR “will launch at WWDC next year because the new iPod will be a huge deal for Christmas.”
Apple Glass price
The price of the mysterious headset is another interesting subject. A major Apple Glass leak revealed a $499 price, and some interesting features, such as a LiDAR integrated on the right temple of the glasses. This leak suggested an announcement date sometime in Q3/Q4 2021, which is clearly not happening.
If this information turns out to be true, Apple could slot itself in the AR/VR market nicely. Microsoft’s mixed-reality headset – the HoloLens 2, for example, starts at a whopping $3,500. On the other hand, more consumer-oriented VR headsets like the Oculus Rift series cost between $299-499, so Apple might be aiming at that price point and market share.
Apple Glass patents so far
Late last year a new Apple Glass patent application showed lenses adjusting to ambient lighting, selectively decreasing the real-world brightness in order to boost the computer-generated image.
Another patent popped up at the beginning of 2021, depicting a feature where Apple Glass automatically unlocks other gadgets inside Apple’s ecosystem. This one is a feature that many wearables already have, serving as a remote secure authentication device.
Things got even more interesting when another patent filing was unearthed back in February, this time describing a self-cleaning feature for the Apple Glass device. In this patent, Apple’s innovative engineers have come up with a way to “shake” the Glass free of dust using vibration.
From the same month and year, another patent filing showed how Apple Glass might detect sound and direct you to its origin. That might turn out to be a very useful feature for a device you wear on your head and look (kinda) through it.
All information points toward a 2020 announcement for the Apple AR/VR headset. Given that the mysterious headset has been in development for many years now, we don’t expect further delays.
And judging by all the patent applications, Apple might get back on track and remind us of how innovative this company once was. The competition has already cycled through several generations of VR/AR headsets and Apple has some catching up to do but if done right, Apple Glass could give the AR/VR market a tremendous boost.
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