Apple is expected to launch a product of actual glasses
Correspondent Mark Gurman’s Bloomberg said that Apple demonstrated mixed reality glasses, combining virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in front of the board of directors including CEO Tim Cook and eight other leaders.
Apple’s engineering team is also actively developing the operating system for the device. That means the smart glasses project is accelerating, ready to be completed for launch in the near future.
According to Gurman, Apple’s board of directors holds meetings at least four times a year to update the progress of the smart glass project. In 2011, the company’s board of directors got a preview of the Siri virtual assistant a few weeks before the feature was publicly announced.
Apple also accelerated the development of rOS (Reality OS) operating system for the upcoming glasses model. This is a reasonable decision because the company can understand the hardware characteristics and features of the device to develop appropriate software.
According to The Information, Apple has been developing mixed reality glasses for many years. Since 2016, the company’s management has seen several prototypes of AR and VR glasses in their infancy, modified from the HTC Vive glasses. The Apple engineering team also designed a glass model using the iPhone’s screen, camera and chip, but only for testing and calling for investment.
In 2017, Bloomberg says rOS is developed based on iOS. The iOS 13 beta source code also contains content related to the operating system.
Mixed reality glasses are seen as the next major Apple device after the 2015 Apple Watch launch. The device could create a new revenue stream for Apple, bolstering its market capitalization. 2 trillion USD.
With mixed reality glasses, users can fully participate in the virtual environment, still being able to interact with elements added to the real world. Rumors say that Apple’s glasses have cloth-covered earcups like AirPods Max headphones, while the headband is similar to the loop strap of the Apple Watch.
Apple’s mixed glass is scheduled to be released in 2019, on shelves from 2020. However, Apple has moved the launch date to 2021. The schedule continues to be pushed to the end of 2022, the beginning of 2023.
During development, the device faced resistance from former Design Director Jony Ive. He thinks Apple should not release glasses that take users out of the real world.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities predicts that Apple’s mixed glass will feature a custom processor chip from the M1. As soon as it launches, Apple’s glasses will have to compete with Meta, which is developing a mixed glass project called Project Cambria, which is likely to be cheaper than Apple’s glasses. Some companies like Sony, Microsoft and Alphabet also have plans to develop AR glasses.
According to many rumors, Apple glasses cost about 2,000 USD. This will be the premise for the AR glasses model codenamed N421, which may be released by the end of the decade. With the first hybrid glass (codename N301), Apple aims for universality technology new to users, build the ecosystem, and prepare the supply chain for the next products.
According to the data of IDC, market AR and VR glasses grew 92% last year, sales more than 11 million units. Meta Quest 2 is currently the best-selling VR headset, accounting for 78% of sales in 2021.
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