We’ve heard whispers about this product for years since Apple showed an interest in AR, but finally we have some fairly solid information regarding name, design, price and release date.
A ton of information about Apple’s upcoming AR glasses has leaked from Jon Prosser on YouTube. Jon Prosser claims he’s seen videos of a prototype from an insider. None of the following information is confirmed by Apple. Image concepts are thanks to Concept Creator, shared by EverythingApplePro.
Apple Glass is expected to be the final name for the new product, similar to the Apple Watch branding. This makes sense, as it gives the product a less-techy name than perhaps iGlass.
A stylish and friendly design is important for Apple to hit the masses. The design is said to be sleek, replicating a traditional pair of glasses, rather than a bulky headset as seen with Microsoft HoloLens.
Jon Prosser supposedly saw prototype models in white and black plastic finishes. These will likely change to a light aluminium material in the future.
A LiDAR sensor will atop the right temple. LiDAR is a depth sensor, that should help the augmented reality layer map to real life objects. The LiDAR sensor can be found on the new iPad and is expected to come to the iPhone 12 Pro models later this year. Little iOS or real world implementation has been made with LiDAR thus far. For users who opt in to sharing data with Apple, AR data from these sensors will be integral for the development of Apple Glass.
Camera aren’t expected on the first generation of Apple Glass, due to privacy concerns. Cameras constantly at eye level, unknowingly recording, can be daunting for the public and a PR nightmare. Cameras may be added to future versions of Apple Glass.
Apple Glass will feature wireless charging and maybe an included wireless charging case, much like AirPods.
The glasses will not output audio, instead Apple will put a heavy emphasis on AirPods as part of the experience.
Most data processing will take place on the iPhone to keep the price and physical footprint down. As technology improves overtime, processing may be implemented into future versions of the glasses themselves. This is a similar strategy to that we saw on earlier versions of the Apple Watch.
iPhone 12 will likely get support for a new version of WiFi specifically designed for short-range, perfect for Apple Glass. Older devices will likely be supported but with limited capabilities.
Unfortunately a sunglasses option is unlikely, as Apple are having issues implementing the display on tinted lenses. Apple SunGlass could be seen in a future generation.
We expect the display to be embedded into both lenses, not projected onto the lenses like Google Glass. The display will only be visible to the wearer and invisible from the outside.
Not much is currently known about the Glass UI yet. The name is supposedly StarBoard. For reference, iOS’ UI name is SpringBoard. Expect a slimmed down version of iOS, somewhat reminiscent of Apple Watch, but tailed for zero physical interaction.
Apple Glass will be controlled via gestures on the device or hand gestures picked up by the LiDAR.
A heavy focus is said to be put on scanning proprietary Apple QR codes. Little information is known about these codes, but we may see them in iOS 14 at WWDC next month.
Apple Glass is said to be starting at $499 + price of optional prescription. This is a very appealing price and way below earlier estimations. A reasonable price and welcoming design is especially important on a first gen product to gain mass adoption. Price has been kept down due to most of the processing taking place on the iPhone.
We will likely only see these previewed at an event where the media are invited. Should COVID-19 restrictions be lifted by the planned iPhone event now due in October (rather than September), and the media are invited to attend, we may see an announcement for Apple Glass as early as this year at the iPhone event as a “One More Thing” preview. However, it’s entirely possible we won’t see them until March or June 2021. The product won’t hit shelves until Q4 2021 – Q1 2022.
Don’t expect the full flawless package from gen one of Apple Glass. Instead we will likely see major improvements to the first few updates, much like Apple Watch.