Apple Glasses are coming. The rumor creek is turning into a noisy river and we are now expecting the AR glasses during the first half of 2020.
The evidence has been piling up steadily, as Apple has been leaving a trail of AR-related purchases, from Akonia Holographics — a Colorado-based startup dedicated to AR displays — to the one that started it all: Metaio, a German company that developed an Augmented Reality SDK that seems to be the basis for ARKit, the Apple Augmented Reality developer API that debuted in iOS 11 in 2017. We also know that Tim Cook is a big fan of augmented reality, which he considers social and inclusive while disparaging virtual reality as isolating tech.
The latest piece of evidence has been the presence of an entire augmented reality framework — codenamed Project StarBoard — in the final version of iOS 13. It is still there and it mentions the device — apparently codenamed Garta — multiple times in code and text documents.
According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo — perhaps the most reputable and reliable Apple expert — the Apple Glasses are set for an early 2020 launch.
It’s not the first time that Kuo has said the Apple Glasses will come in 2020, but now he claims that Apple will begin production of the device before the end of 2019, with Chinese company Changying Precision making the chassis for the device. According to him, the Cupertino company is aiming to launch the device in the second quarter of 2020.
Apple Glasses price
There’s no price announced for the Apple Glasses yet, but we can make some assumptions. The most important is that they will probably not be as expensive of competing augmented reality headsets like Microsoft Hololens 2.
Hololens 2 has a price tag of $3,500 but a big part of of its cost comes from having all the electronics needed to run the AR experience built into the headset.
Apple Glasses design
We are completely in the dark when it comes to design. We can expect one thing, though: these things will be much lighter than competitive headsets because the Apple Glasses will be an iPhone accessory, not a standalone device like Microsoft’s AR headset. This has been confirmed not only by Kuo but also by the Apple developer who analyzed the code in iOS 13. Apple Glasses could also work with the iPad and Macs.
Apple Glasses specs
There’s no known specs about the Apple Glasses yet, but we can speculate based on what we know about the current tech. They will at least have the same field of view as the Hololens 2: 52 degrees. Anything less will be perceived as inferior by the market.
If Apple is aiming at making its glasses a true augmented reality solution — as opposed to a heads-up display that shows 2D floating notifications or maps, like Google Glass — it’s reasonable to expect the Apple Glasses to connect directly to the iPhone on a dedicated Wi-Fi connection.