Published: Fri, November 15, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Apple's AR headset coming in 2022

Apple's AR headset coming in 2022

Google's ill-fated Glass project launched way back in 2014, to a somewhat mixed reception; Microsoft recently released the second version of its Hololens headset which, at $3,500, will probably only find a home in the commercial sector - or with the U.S. military; Google even quit on its VR and AR hardware ambitions this week, making its Cardboard headsets open source; and Snap, the company behind the popular social media app Snapchat, launched its third attempt at a popular set of AR glasses today. In a read me file available in the build, Apple mentioned steps for developers on how to test AR apps without the AR headset. Apple is projected to sell more than 50 million pairs of AirPods this year and 80 million next year.

As for its AR glasses, quite obviously, these should be relatively more mainstream - unlike say the Google Glass - with the report suggesting that "current prototypes look like high-priced sunglasses with thick frames that house the battery and chips".

Citing sources familiar with Apple's plans, The Information reports that Apple plans to release an AR headset in 2022, followed by a pair of AR glasses in 2023.

In an internal presentation to employees, Apple Vice President Mike Rockwell, who leads Apple's AR and virtual reality teams, revealed new information about the design and features of the AR headset.

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As per the information, Apple gathered "enough employees to fill the 1,000 seats Steve Jobs Theater" to discuss the timeline for its new AR products.

In addition, senior administrators at Apple believe AR headsets could be even larger than the Iphone within just a ten years of their release. While he didn't specify an expected release date, the production date seemed to indicate a launch in 2020. Bloomberg, the source of those 2020 expectations, has matched The Information's piece. Kuo had then stated that the AR glasses by Apple would be out in the market as accessories for the iPhone and mainly play the role of the display while being connected to the iPhone wirelessly. The references, the site noted, indicate that Cupertino is working to bring its AR glasses out as soon as possible, probably "within a year or so". But given the wide expanse of its hardware, Apple has still been unable to make a stong case for AR. This means fans should take the report with a grain of salt and wait for official updates as they come. It seems as though the company had initially planned to launch sooner, but made a decision to instead extend the timeline.

The company is aiming to announce a combined AR and VR headset in 2021 or 2022; the device would let users play games, watch videos, join virtual meetings. Today, enhancements in engineering have moved the target to much less expensive "all-in-a single" untethered headsets like the $400 Oculus Quest, which has reportedly marketed a first rate-but-uninspiring 400,000 models due to the fact its start in May perhaps (a somewhat lousy exhibiting when when compared to other modern portable gaming-focused components).

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