Apple’s Next Big Thing: AR Glasses [Video]
Video uploaded by ColdFusion on June 20, 2020
Speaking of, speaking of Apple Glass…
Well, we bet Apple isn’t surprised with all that gossip about Apple Glass flying around. When they announce any plans for any new product, an avalanche of speculations, assumptions and rumors is pretty much a given. Nor should we be all that astonished that everyone and their aunt fall over themselves to make an input and claim to have a piece of sacred knowledge, and yes, we know that any of those pieces have to be taken with a good mouthful of salt.
Still, if you sense a “but” coming, you’re right. Because all this flurry of the aforesaid rumors is now coming so fast and thick that we can’t help but suspect that there’s something behind all this fuss. Especially as now it’s not just your regular joes who create the buzz, but also those in the know, including analysts. Thus, it is probably a good idea to take a closer look at this Glass-themed talk of the town.
So then, what do we have so far? Let’s start with the schedule. This, in fact, is the murkiest topic of all, for even the above-mentioned experts contradict each other on it like there’s no tomorrow. Some (including Jon Prosser, known to leak very correct information about Apple) promise us the release as soon as next year. Others – for example, Mark Gurman from Bloomberg – warn everyone not to get excited before 2023. And such a respectable source as TF International Securities, in turn, names 2022 as the most likely shipping year (that’s according to a report by their analyst Ming Chi Kuo). Nonetheless, the relative narrowness of the gap (three years is hardly an eternity) hints that this particular work in progress is steadily gaining speed, and is indeed within eyesight. And that is even further confirmed by “The Information”‘s announcement that the prototype phase for the product has been successfully completed.
Therefore, it’s time to refresh what we know about Apple Glass up to this point.
Firstly, there are two possible names of the operating system it will use – it will be either called glassOS or Starboard – but regardless of the title, we already had a taste of this Apple Glass-exclusive system thanks to the final iOS 13 version. And, based on what its code and accompanying texts reveal, the company is now concentrating on the software’s activation and application.
As for the hardware, according to the patent, it’s possible that Apple Glass may have the option of real-time background-changing (involving chroma key technology) and include an audio system based on bone conduction. Plus, there are rumors of the company following in its competitor’s footsteps and incorporating Samsung’s navigational bezel in its upcoming lenses. It is also expected that those lenses, being of the smart type, will adjust to the users’ eyesight automatically, so no prescription optics needed (but, as a slight downside, there are no plans for tinting the lens so far: there will be only clear ones). And, judging by the newest prototype, there will be an inbuilt LiDAR scanner on the glasses’ right side.
One of the main Apple Glass’ features reported to be the synchronization: everything from your iPhone from games, through maps, to texts, will be displayed at your face level. And the device may also come with a dedicated app store and be compatible with third party software. Other mentioned capabilities of the lenses include photo / video image-formatting, color range detection and virtual content composition.
Now let’s move on to the looks, which, especially with Apple, are very important, too. Those who claim to have seen the prototype, describe that it appears “un-intimidating” and resembles your regular plastic glasses. No cameras – other than the above scanner – have been spotted (apparently, what with privacy and all, though some say we may see more cameras on the final version, after all). It is also reported that the device won’t be heavy (though not ultra lightweight either) and will fit comfortably. Well, you don’t need to be an analyst or leaker to predict that, what with Apple being Apple (and the glasses having to interact with the iPhone), but we’ll let it slide. And, furthermore, there is a hearsay about the arms of Apple Glass being – perhaps – swappable. In other words, there will be several sets of arms, each meant for a different purpose, coming with its own assortment of features.
As far as the specs are concerned, there is no confirmed data at all, but, on the basis of the today’s available technology, it is widely assumed that the field of view will be no less than 52 degrees and the minimal expected resolution is 47 ppi (because both are currently sported by Hololens 2). In terms of battery life, no one believes that it will be less than three hours, considering the level of competition (though some additional features or accessories may make the owners-to-be to resign to something more modest).
It’s also worth noting that for this mixed-reality, 3D imagery-handling glasses, our habitual Bluetooth certainly will not do: the workload will demand much more bandwidth than this type of connection can offer.
And finally, let’s talk about price, the last-mentioned, but nearly not the least factor that it is. The current rumor, also coming from Jon Prosser, sets it at $499 (that’s without prescription fee). The huge difference from the price of the above-mentioned (and already-selling) Microsoft’s Hololens is explained by the fact that he latter has to handle all the AR by itself, whereas Apple Glass can rely on iPhone for processing whatever needs to be processed and, therefore, has no need for all that sophisticated inbuilt technology. On the other hand, the Vuzix Blade glasses (which is also already in the market) don’t have it either but still will cost you $799.
Overall, as you see, there is a lot of various interesting info, and the amount of questions still matches that of the answers. Especially remembering that the subject device may well be preceded in release by another Apple’s offering in the field – a VR headset, which, being less complicated in terms of technology, is most likely easier to launch.
But one thing is for sure: our upcoming – and becoming ever more relevant, what with the pandemic and all – virtual life is to get a damn sight (no pun intended) more interesting.
- Apple Glasses: Release date, price, features and leaks – Tom’s Guide
- Sell your Apple device online – iGotOffer
- Everything About Apple’s Products – The complete guide to all Apple consumer electronic products, including technical specifications, identifiers and other valuable information.