Apple Glass available soon

Apple has finished the prototype of its first virtual reality headset and is at an earlier stage developing its augmented reality glasses, according to The Information and other sources, who have scrutinised Apple patents and have contacts among Apple staff.
Apple Glass

The AR glasses will reportedly be called Apple Glass. According to a Bloomberg-report, Apple will launch its VR headset before the AR glasses.

The VR version’s price tag will be so high that it will primarily appeal to tech enthusiasts and be a useful tool for developers.

The 3D-universe of the VR headset will mainly be useful for gaming, watching movies, and communication. The headset will only offer a few AR functionalities, such as overlaying pictures and information in the form of notifications or route descriptions on a map, to reality.

The technological demands on AR functionalities are high. The electronics need to take up as little space as possible, have a fair amount of horsepower, provide a stable internet connection, and have a battery that does not require frequent recharging – all while considering the glasses’ weight and appearance.  

These challenges are bigger for AR glasses than the demands of a VR headset. Apple is therefore expected to roll out its VR glasses at least a year before its AR glasses hit the physical and virtual shelves.

Features to increase eyesight

A glance at Apple’s patents gives a hint as to which features Apple Glass will offer. One of the more surprising Apple patents indicates that Apple will increase the user’s ability to see in darkness thanks to depth sensors in the Apple Glass.

Another patent is expanding Google’s street view to let the viewer see a particular part of the world regardless of where the user is at any given time – as a kind of digital teleportation. Apple Maps already offer a similar feature with Look Around, but it will have a much stronger effect seen through Apple Glass than on a screen.

Yet another patent is surprising by insinuating that Apple Glass, by using optical subassembly, can adjust the lens strength automatically according to the users’ eyesight. This patent may be intended for a standalone smartphone-powered VR headset or a future second-generation of Apple Glass.

Features to increase eyesight

A glance at Apple’s patents gives a hint as to which features Apple Glass will offer. One of the more surprising Apple patents indicates that Apple will increase the user’s ability to see in darkness thanks to depth sensors in the Apple Glass.

Another patent is expanding Google’s street view to let the viewer see a particular part of the world regardless of where the user is at any given time – as a kind of digital teleportation. Apple Maps already offer a similar feature with Look Around, but it will have a much stronger effect seen through Apple Glass than on a screen.

Yet another patent is surprising by insinuating that Apple Glass, by using optical subassembly, can adjust the lens strength automatically according to the users’ eyesight. This patent may be intended for a standalone smartphone-powered VR headset or a future second-generation of Apple Glass.

Powered by an iPhone

An Apple patent insinuates that Apple Glasses may require a companion iPhone rather than function independently with its own display and software. According to a Bloomberg report, information is transferred via the user’s iPhone to Apple Glass; for example, texts, emails, route descriptions, and games.

But if Apple is going for a more profound AR solution than flat, two-dimensional information layered on top of the user’s actual view, as seen with Google Glass, Apple Glass is likely to be connected to a dedicated wifi connection from the user’s iPhone.

Consequently, the lastest prototype that has entered trial production last year indicates that Apple Glass will be a lightweight, classic, almost Clark Kent-looking accessory to an iPhone. This way, the glasses will get their processing power from an iPhone and sync information from the wearer’s iPhone.  

Cheaper than the competitors

Apple products are not exactly known for being cheap. Nevertheless, the man behind the YouTube channel “Front Page Tech”, Jon Prosser, predicts that Apple Glass will be priced just below $500, considerably less than similar products from competitors such as Microsoft, Google, and Magic Leap.

However, according to Bloomberg, the price of Apple’s VR headset is expected to be considerably higher than that of Facebook’s Oculus, Sony’s PlayStation VR, and HTC Corp’s headsets.

According to Apple, the tech giant plans to launch its VR headset in 2022 and Apple Glass in 2023, although Jon Prosser expects Apple Glass to hit the market as soon as sometime between March and June 2021.

Kilder
The Information:
Bloomberg
Bloomberg Businessweek
Macworld from IDG
Techradar
Macrumors
Tom’s Guide
Tom’s Guide
Slash Gear
Tech Valley

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