Published on November 12th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Apple to Launch AR Headset in 2022 with Smart Glasses to Follow in 2023, Report Claims
Like a sighting of Sasquatch, a report has emerged about Apple’s plans to enter the AR market. Stan Schroeder reports at Mashable about an article at The Information that unveils Apple’s plans for an AR strategy in over two years. Will that be too late to the party as Oculus, Microsoft, HTC, Magic Leap improve their devices already in the field? And Amazon is on the sidelines, too, and will soon announce an entry. Two years is forever in technology and Apple may not be able to disrupt this market as they have in the past.
IMAGE: SERGEI MASTEPANOV/GETTYIMAGES
The biggest Apple rumor outside of Apple Car has been revived in a big way.
According to a report by The Information, Apple is planning to launch an augmented reality (AR) headset in 2022, followed by a sleeker pair of AR glasses in 2023.
While we’ve heard loads of similar reports over the years, this one — if accurate — is different.
First, The Information claims that Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about the project at an internal gathering of as many as 1,000 Apple employees, which is an uncommonly large number. Second, the report contains loads of details, not only about the AR headset/glasses hardware, but also about Apple’s plans and ideas about the concept of wearable augmented reality devices.
First, the headset. It’s code-named N301 and will be a virtual reality and augmented reality hybrid. On the outside, it will look like a “sleeker” Oculus Quest, with cameras mounted on the outside (important for AR, which must include a way to view reality in order to mix virtual elements into it). It will be lightweight and comfortable enough to be worn for extended periods of time, the report says.
Inside, the headset will have a high-resolution display and 3D-mapping capabilities, as well as the ability to detect humans.
Perhaps the more interesting gadget of the two are the AR glasses, which are code-named N421 (we’ve previously heard codenames Iris and Mirrorshades; it’s unclear whether these are the same devices). These will be meant to worn all day, meaning they’ll have to be slimmer, lighter and more comfortable than the headset. Apple’s current prototypes are essentially sunglasses with “thick frames” with the electronics stuffed inside, the report says — perhaps (my guess) something similar to Snap’s Spectacles.
Apple is looking into putting some advanced tech into the glasses, including darkening the lenses when the wearer is using AR. And, according to a source familiar with the project, Apple believes that these glasses could replace the need to carry iPhones “in roughly a decade.”