As virtual reality continues to grow in popularity with games like Half-Life: Alyx and headsets such as the Oculus Quest 2 leading the way, the potential for augmented reality hasn’t escaped the notice of developers, consumers, and businesses. While most augmented reality apps are currently focused on business and the military, consumers will likely see the world in a new way with Apple’s upcoming smart glasses.
While virtual reality aims to bring the user into a global digital world, augmented reality aims instead to allow users to continue seeing the real world while having a screen superimposed on it. The technology has been around for a while, perhaps most notably reaching consumers with Google Glass, released in limited quantities years ago.
Now, according to industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo of TFI Asset Management, Apple is gearing up to launch its own augmented reality glasses. According to Kuo, the glasses will reach consumers in 2022 and they will be surprisingly powerful. Rather than relying on a physical or wireless connection to a cellphone, the new glasses would use Apple’s proprietary M1 chips, which power the latest versions of the Macbook Pro. This would allegedly allow Apple augmented reality glasses to operate independently with power comparable to that of an Apple computer.
Currently, information about the planned smart glasses is scarce. It’s unclear what price range the glasses might have, or when they will be officially revealed. However, Kuo notes that the glasses are still intended to be an iPhone accessory. Whether users of other devices will be able to take full advantage of Apple’s AR glasses remains to be seen.
While the Apple AR Glasses are likely to generate a lot of hype among consumers, they aren’t the only augmented reality devices aimed at consumers in development. The Lynx R1 VR/AR headset recently completed its crowdfunding phase and offers a combined wireless virtual reality and augmented reality experience, similar to the Oculus Quest. However, the design is more like other VR headsets and allows users to see the world around them on screen via cameras, rather than simplistic glasses that allow the user to freely see the world around them. .
It will be interesting to see if Apple AR Glasses have a camera, like Google Glass did. Google Glass wearers have made headlines for angering others who were unhappy with the glasses’ built-in cameras. However, Google Glass debuted in 2013, when smartphone cameras were less capable and ubiquitous. Even though the Apple AR Glasses have a camera, they might not generate as much scorn from random people as Google Glass.
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