It seems Apple is closer to launch its first-ever augmented reality (AR) device, rumoured to be called the “Apple Glasses”. The information is coming from Ming-Chi Kuo, the well-known Apple analyst. In a note to customers, as obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that Apple does have plans to launch the augmented reality device this year. However, Kuo’s note doesn’t mention AR glasses.
It is a known fact that Apple has been working on augmented reality glasses for years. Apple CEO Tim Cook sees AR, a technology that combines a view of the real world with computer-generated elements, as the next big thing in tech. But the question is, when will Apple be ready with its debut AR glasses?
According to The Information, Apple is expected to launch its first augmented reality headset in 2020, followed by a pair of AR glasses in 2023. Apple’s headset, codenamed N301, is said to be a slimmer version of the Oculus Quest, a virtual reality headset. It is rumoured to feature both AR and VR capabilities. The more complicated but future-ready headset will be a pair of AR glasses, similar to high-end sunglasses.
Bloomberg meanwhile said the Apple glasses will run “rOS”, a new operating system designed specifically for the headset. The publication further believes that the AR/VR headset will “focus on gaming, watching the video and virtual meeting.” Both headsets being developed by Apple will use a “new 3D sensor system,” a more advanced version of the FaceID used in the existing iPhones and iPads.
Many tech insiders and analysts believe the augmented reality (AR) glasses will replace smartphones in the next eight to ten years. Apple, alongside other tech companies, are all working on secret AR glasses projects. The first-generation Apple Glasses will be dependent on the iPhone for processing. It is unclear if Apple plans to launch the first AR headset this year or next year.
Apple has had a busy 2020, despite the global pandemic. This year, however, won’t be much different. Kuo said Apple aims to launch multiple products this year, including the AirTags, new AirPods, more Apple Silicon Macs, new iPad Pro and MacBooks with mini-LED displays. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant recently launched the iPhone 12 series, a smaller HomePod mini, and a brand new iPad Air.