Everything we’ve heard suggests that the Apple Glasses are a very long way off. That doesn’t mean Apple can’t tease us with the prospect of news during the upcoming WWDC 2021 keynote. But is it really a tease?
A video teaser for the conference features an Apple animoji character opening up a MacBook. But in doing so it looks as though a number of apps flash up on the character’s glasses. Much like how they would if she were wearing AR specs.
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Obviously, some people have been getting excited, and have taken this to mean that Apple may be revealing some details about the long-awaited Apple Glasses. Even though current rumors suggest they won’t be arriving until at least 2022, possibly 2023.
Apple officially announces virtual WWDC 2021 - June 7 to 10 Looks like an AR Glasses reference to me 😄 pic.twitter.com/RK7DqeOIoiMarch 30, 2021
And it looks like there is a tease to Apple Glass in the pictureMarch 30, 2021
This tease from Apple on AR glasses.. Will they finally announce them in June this year!? pic.twitter.com/mQIRduyVtpMarch 31, 2021
Prediction: The glasses are a hint to Apple Glass because they have projections inside them!! pic.twitter.com/3fK7NztelNMarch 30, 2021
But it could just as easily be a reflection of the apps in the MacBook’s menu bar. In fact, that seems a lot more likely, given the fact we’ll be waiting a very long time for Apple Glasses to arrive. Apple isn’t usually one to announce, or even tease, products in advance.
It has happened, like that time Apple made grand promises about AirPower, and look how that turned out. People could not stop asking when it was going to arrive, all because Apple bit off more than it could chew and made the mistake of telling us about it in advance.
Likewise, the 2013 Mac Pro was teased ahead of time (opens in new tab). While the machine, and the trash can design, was poorly received compared to its predecessor, that had nothing to do with Tim Cook jumping the gun. Still, there's a very big difference between an updated Mac Pro, and announcing unfinished tech that's trying to do what nobody else has been able to achieve.
Will Apple talk about AR at WWDC? Almost certainly. CEO Tim Cook has long said that AR is something Apple is interested in "for the long run", and over the past few years the company has been rolling out newer and better AR features to iPhones and iPads. We absolutely expect Apple to mention improvement to ARKit that will likely be coming to iOS 15.
There is a rumored Apple VR and mixed reality headset that's expected to arrive sometime next year. The purpose of the headset is reportedly to pave the way for Apple Glasses, and ensure developers have time to work with AR and ensure solid app support at launch. But the mixed reality headset needs apps, too, and if a 2022 launch really is on the cards now might be the time to get developers on board.
I could be wrong, of course. Apple may pull out a prototype pair of Apple Glasses and tease us with what it plans to do with that tech. But it would be completely out of character, and the idea that the WWDC keynote might include an Apple Glasses tease seems like little more than wishful thinking.
But we will find out on June 7 when the WWDC keynote kicks off the conference for real.
- More: What to expect from the Apple VR and mixed reality headset