Apple’s long been rumoured to be working on something in the VR/AR space, and it’s not like its smartphones haven’t been building that functionality in for the last few iterations. Still, the tight-lipped company may have sprung a huge leak as details of the so-called Apple Glass are all over the internet.
Better than Google?
Seriously, all the details seem to be out in the open. Pricing, availability, how it’ll work, what it’ll look like…. everything. The glasses are designed for AR but seem to be a more elegant, or at least consumer-friendly design, than Google’s ill-fated Glass headset was. You might remember the term Glass-holes? Yeah, Apple’s hoping to side-step that term by not recording everything Google Glass users come across.
Instead of an outward-facing camera, there’s just a LIDAR scanner set in the right temple. Cameras aren’t being included (for now) for privacy reasons but this batch of information comes from an apparent prototype of the device. It’s possible it’ll still launch with an outward-facing camera but that would be… silly. And Apple is rarely silly.
Welcome to the future
Both Apple Glass lenses will apparently incorporate displays which, working with the LIDAR sensor, could give you the augmented reality world we’ve been hoping for since forever. Imagine Microsoft’s Hololens Minecraft demo but in your own home. Yeah, that. Just not right now.
Like the now-dead Gear VR, the processor for the Apple Glass would take place mostly on the iPhone connected to it. Remember how we said Apple’s been working AR features into its phones for a while now? It won’t be quite as life-changing a gadget as you’d like, however. At least, that’s the word according to Front Page Tech’s Jon Prosser. “Temper your expectations” was the term used there.
We might see the Apple Glass announced at the close of Apple’s usual September conference (which may take place in October this year), as a “one more thing”, while the launch is (or was) projected for 2021. The announcement or availability of Apple Glass will possibly take place in March 2021, but timelines are a little hazy for everyone right now. You know, that whole COVID-19 thing? Apple Glass may be pushed back to 2022. Pricing for the AR glasses is supposedly set at $500, plus the cost of having prescription lenses added (should you require them). That’s… unexpectedly low, but it’s still over R9,000 in South African money.