What we know about the Release Date, Price Points, Specs, Features, and Leaked info …
Known for innovation and forward-thinking, this isn’t Apple’s first move to create a whole new product class. Apple Glasses represents what will be the FIRST generation of futuristic AR wearable lenses with unlimited potential.
With the first whispers of Apple Glasses hitting the internet back in early 2020, chatter from those who claimed to be ‘in the know’ suggested a release date in late 2020. That time has come and gone (obviously).
Whether due to COVID-related manufacturing and sourcing bottlenecks, or they simply needed more time to get things right, new insider intelligence indicates that the future of Apple’s augmented reality glasses is a bit murky.
Latest Apple Glass news (updated March 13, 2021)
- Purported to hit your wallet for $1000, Apple’s mixed reality headset looks like it’s set to arrive on digital and physical store shelves as early as next year (2022).
- The much anticipated Apple Glass looks to be ways further off, with best estimates putting it at a 2023-2025 release date.
- Apple Glasses may have a trick up their sleeves–rumors have it that the set of frames may be powered by a companion iPhone rather than using its own unique software and display.
- 2021 marks the first debut of Apple’s first foray into augmented reality with a headset positioned to compete with Oculus Quest, according to famed industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple Glass Release Date–How Long Do We Have to Wait?
For those keeping score, you wouldn’t be amiss if you thought Apple missed the mark here.
Industry Insider Projections
According to leading Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a long history of reporting accurate product updates relied on by investors and technology aficionados alike, was quoted as saying that Apple Glasses likely wouldn’t be ready for showtime on store shelves until 2022 at the earliest.
Other industry insiders, such as Jon Prosser, tweeted that he has information suggesting a launch date aimed for March or June 2021. Putting the release date even further into the future is Bloomberg’s own Mark Gurman, who suggested that the earliest hopeful fans would be able to get their hands on them would be 2023.
Information Leaked from Apple Internal Communications
Sometimes one company’s misfortune is everyone else’s glimmer of hope. IN this case, an internal presentation at Apple was leaked to The Information, showing a launch date of 2023, similar to that reported by Gurman at Bloomberg.
Regardless of who’s right, Apple will likely announce Apple Glass well before its shipping date, ramping up hype, exposure, and interest.
Speaking of announcements, there is some speculation that Apple will opt to unveil the Apple Glass as a ‘one more thing’ announcement at its annual fall keynote presentation.
Where Does that Leave Eager Fans?
Leaked reports indicate that Apple Glass lenses have already skated passed the prototype stage of development and have since entered into trial production. This marks a significant milestone in bringing the device to market.
For those eagerly awaiting this much-anticipated reveal, all of this news may come as a bit of a bummer. The good news, however, is that the product IS moving forward with no plans on slowing down its development.
Apple VR Headset is Staged to Land First
Looking to compete with the Oculus Rift 2 in the growing VR headset market, projected to be worth upwards of $20.9 billion by 2025, Apple is set to release Apple VR Headset before Apple Glasses has a chance to hit store shelves.
Everything We Know About Apple Glass
Although much is still left to speculation and rumor, it is expected that Apple Glass will run on a proprietary operating system dubbed Starboard (or maybe even glassOS, who know).
Although nothing is guaranteed except death and taxes, we feel confident about this assumption given that the augmented reality framework has shown up several times in both text and code documents leaked from Apple.
Apple VR and Mixed Reality Headset vs. Apple Glass
In true Apple fashion, the industry behemoth is giving the people what they want (and then some). In its foray into new markets, the technology giant is making waves across multiple new platforms: VR, mixed reality and augmented reality.
Unlike Apple Glass, Apple’s mixed reality headset and Apple VR are arguably less complicated and perhaps closer to landing in the hands of anxious consumers around the world.
Apple VR and Mixed Reality Headsets
Both of these future releases are purported to utilize ultra-high-resolution displays coupled with a cinematic quality speaker system. Sources have described the headsets as a fabric-covered, slimmer design resembling the Oculus Quest. However, it is important to note that these initial observations were based on a prototype and not the final design that will make it into consumers’ hands. If we know anything about Apple, it’s that they are meticulous about designs and testing to find the perfect blend of ergonomics, comfort, and aesthetic appeal.
We’re all left in the dark here. No official information or leaks have surfaced regarding what we can expect Apple to price this at. However, with HTC Vive starting at $799, Oculus Quest starting at $399, and Microsoft’s HoloLens coming in at a wallet destroying $3500, we don’t expect it to be cheap.
Best estimations from experts put the starting price somewhere between $1000-$3000 at launch, although this is purely conjecture at this stage.
Similar to competitors that utilize an app store for hosting access to video streaming, communication apps, games, and more, the Apple VR and mixed reality headsets will also enjoy their own dedicated App Store.
All signs point to Apple VR making its debut sometime in 2022, with the release shortly thereafter (likely by mid-year).
Apple Glass Price
What can consumers expect at checkout?
According to industry insiders such as Prosser, Apple Glasses will be released at $499 (not including associated prescription costs). Comparatively, this price point seems a little low for Apple, but the company has one major advantage over competitors such as the Hololense; Apple Glasses will be powered by a companion iPhone, utilizing its hardware for processing power and thus requiring significantly less hardware and complexity built into the glasses itself.
Apple Glass Features: what can we expect to see?
Given that Apple Glasses will be powered by an accompanying iPhone, it should come as little surprise that the glasses will funnel information from your phone to the lenses.
According to a Bloomberg report, the eyewear “are 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.”
Prescription Not Required?
Looking to define the future of wearable technology, Apple’s push into AR will need to focus on accessibility and adoption. With tens of millions of adults wearing prescription glasses, adding a pair of Apple Glasses on top of those would be both cumbersome and uncomfortable, not to mention the fit would be less than desirable.
To this end, Patently Apple has spotted what might be a peek into Apple’s solution to this problem. A USPTO patent was awarded to Cupertino for what appears to be an in lens corrective system that automatically calibrates focus based on the state of the wearer’s visual health. This could all but eliminate the need for prescription lenses.
The patent discusses solutions for identifying and correcting problems such as nearsightedness and astigmatism. With some 75% of adults using some form of corrective eyewear, this move could be a real game-changer for the company.
Night Vision? – Not Quite
We, humans, have notoriously poor night vision. This brings us to one of the more unusual patents we’ve found for Apple Glass. It appears the company is exploring ways that the headset could augment vision in low light conditions. Although not quite your traditional ‘night vision’, the patent proposes the use of sensors to measure the landscape around the user, alerting them of objects and giving them better spatial perception in the dark.
What About Apps?
In true Apple fashion, Apple Glasses will have a dedicated app store for apps, games, communication and productivity tools, and more.
Change Backgrounds on the Fly?
This feature has recently gained notoriety as a valuable tool for Zoom and online meetings. A patent for Apple describes how the headset may utilize chroma keying to replace a solid colored background with selected media. Unlike zoom, a headset wearer may be in constant motion, presenting interesting challenges of achieving this without lag. Apple’s patent describes this as low latency 3D stereoscopic background for Apple AR.
Explore the World Through Lenses?
Who needs expensive travel plans when you can visit and explore the world through Apple Glasses? A recent Apple Glass patent suggests that its users could enjoy immersive experiences exploring everything from the Grand Canyon to their old neighborhood streets with something reminiscent of Google Street View integrated into the glasses. Described as Computer Generated Rendered (CGR) applications, this technology could place the wearer within a virtual environment of their choosing.
Other Expected Features
Rounding out our list of features we expect to see are Alexa integration, Siri integration, and of course a built-in camera for photos and video.
Apple Glasses Design
Recent glimpses at prototypes reportedly resemble a subdued design similar to a bulkier pair of plastic glasses. Leaked marketing materials, on the other hand, imply a Clark Kent style design.
The right temple sports a LiDAR scanner, but other cameras are notably absent at the moment. A stand accompanies the glasses for easy storage and display when not in use, and wireless chargers efficiently power up the unit.
Given that the glasses will be powered by an accompanying iPhone, Apple likely intends to keep the Apple Glass as light and nimble as possible, encouraging all-day, everyday wear by the user.
At the moment we were unable to find any information on whether or not the glasses would come in a tinted variety.
We also leave room for the possibility that Apple will employ a modular design, enabling the user to swap out the arms of the glasses similar to how the Apple watch can have its bands switched.
Apple Glass Specs
No known official specs exist at the moment. However, we can make some fair assumptions based on what we do know thus far.
For example, given what we have learned about the screen/display, we know that Apple Glasses will have (at minimum) a field of vision of 52-degrees and a resolution of 47 ppi.
Given Apple’s push for a true augmented reality platform (differentiating itself from a generic heads up display), Apple Glasses may connect directly with the iPhone via a dedicated Wi-Fi connection. This will aid in processing resource-intensive 3D imaging and aid in producing a frame per second rate that will need to be between 60-120Hz, requiring far more bandwidth than Bluetooth can reliably handle.
When it comes to battery life, we’d expect Apple to remain competitive in this category, with battery life under normal use at a minimum of three hours.
Final Thoughts on Apple Glasses
The world of VR and augmented reality is on the cusp of greatness, with industry leaders creating breakthrough innovations that are staged to change the way we view the world forever.
No stranger to creating new product classes, Apple remains poised to become the leader in this market segment. Although production seems to have hit some temporary roadblocks, Apple Glasses, and Apple VR headsets are pushing forward with most projections putting releases happening sometime between 2022-2023.
We look forward to the official announcement and seeing just what other tricks Apple has up its sleeve. Knowing Apple, it’s stacking the deck.Tags: Featured Posts