We’re starting to hear more and more about apple’s augmented reality ambitions, and its plans to launch a AR/VR headset that could be called Apple Glasses. Everything we’ve heard so far suggests this device is a long way off, but that may not be the case.
According to a report from China Times, Apple Glasses are set to arrive in the first quarter of 2022. In other words, you may be gearing up to buy a pair for yourself in just over a year’s time.
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The report itself comes from JPMorgan Chase industry analyst Yang Weilun, who claims Apple will have VR and AR powered headsets ready to sell during Q1 2022. Apparently these headsets will include six lenses, and a LiDAR scanner to better understand the location of the user and objects in the surrounding area.
It’s not clear what the six lenses are at this point, however. They could be camera lenses, but that would go against previous rumors claiming Apple Glasses would not include a camera for privacy reasons. The more likely option is that the headset will have six LiDAR sensors, so that it can get a full 360-degree view of the surroundings.
Apple Glass price: Get ready to pay a lot
Yang also says that this device is set to cost $500 to manufacture, meaning the retail price will likely be a few hundred dollars more. That does match up with what we’ve heard about Apple’s VR headset, which is reportedly going to be marketed as a premium niche device with an associated price tag.
That said, considering how advanced the Apple Glasses are set to be, we may well see similarly high prices for the first few generations.
Apple VR headset vs Apple Glasses
While the report mentions multiple headsets, everything that’s been said here sounds more like Apple’s upcoming VR headset, rather than the AR-centric Apple Glasses. The mention of VR is a particular giveaway, and we’ve already heard rumors that this headset will feature both AR and VR capabilities.
Likewise, past reports have suggested that Apple Glasses are nowhere near ready for mass production. Everything we’ve heard suggests that Apple Glasses are designed to be exactly as the name suggests, a pair of spectacles with AR capabilities.
So Yang’s prediction that parts will start shipping towards the end of this year feels like an overly optimistic view. Apple’s VR headset, on the other hand, is reported to be much closer to completion, and it’s very possible that production could begin in that timeframe.
What we don't know is whether Apple will use the Apple Glass branding for both its VR headset and the AR-focused wearable or just for the latter.