Apple has apparently discovered just how difficult it is to bring science fiction devices into reality. The company had reportedly been working on AR glasses for a while now, but has since delayed development in favor of focusing on a mixed-reality HMD.
According to a report by Bloomberg on January 17, 2023, Apple has opted to postpone the release of its augmented reality glasses. This postponement has allowed the company to focus on its upcoming mixed-reality head-mounted display.
Bloomberg’s sources note that the AR glasses were originally planned for release “about a year” after the HMD hits the shelves. The release plan saw the glasses get pushed to a 2025 release date and now seemingly delayed until further notice.
If this eventuates, it will mean Apple has likely run into the limitations of today’s technology, like Google Glass before it. By focusing solely on a VR or mix-reality headset, Apple will position itself as a competitor for Meta’s Quest products.
Zuckerberg recently confirmed in the company’s Q3 2022 earnings results that the next consumer-oriented Meta Quest HMD is in development and will be revealed this year. We could be in a year where two major companies announce VR headsets, hopefully pushing the technology forward.
However, with a march forward in technology comes a high price point. Bloomberg reports that Apple’s initial HMD device is set to cost around $3,000 due to the displays, cameras, and “Mac-grade M2 processor”. In saying this, Apple is also reportedly targeting a cheaper alternative sitting at the $1,500 price point.
Whether Apple returns to the AR glasses idea remains to be seen. The idea of having critical information displayed on a pair of glasses is certainly appealing, but actually getting the whole thing working, while being comfortable and affordable, seems like a massive hurdle. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on the latest happenings in the VR and AR world.
Sam Chandler posted a new article, Apple reportedly delays AR glasses in favor of mixed-reality HMD
i've never used these overlay type glasses but I keep reading in reviews that its annoying to keep refocusing your eyeballs between real world objects and the overlay. It sounds like AR is less stressful when its done with passthrough, because the overlays can be placed around the room without need for refocusing. Can anybody confirm/deny?