Recently, Apple has often been faced with the need to postpone plans for the launch of its devices. Both technical difficulties and external factors, such as, for example, COVID, intervene. One such postponement has been dragging on for years, and it’s AR glasses, which are once again delayed. That said, the company still plans to launch a mixed-reality headset this year.
This was told by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
The glasses were supposed to debut after the AR/VR headset, but unspecified technical issues got in the way again. In addition, the company plans to launch a cheaper version of the mixed reality headset in 2024 or early 2025.
Like many other companies, Apple sees a big future in AR/VR, but the technical challenges of producing a user-friendly device often force it to change plans. The company’s idea for augmented reality glasses that the user can wear all day without taking them off seems to be years away, if at all.
Meanwhile, VR continues to develop and can already offer a virtual workplace or meeting, games, and watching movies. On the other hand, AR, superimposing an additional layer of information on real life, can often be found in concept cars, and attempts to make such glasses have not yet gained widespread use.
The technology’s price doesn’t help: Apple’s mixed-reality headset will start at $3,000 and include high-resolution displays, more than 10 cameras, eye-tracking sensors, an M2 processor, and separate AR and VR image processing chips. So with the next headset, Apple plans to use processors closer to the iPhone than the Mac, which will bring the price down and start competing with headsets like the Meta, which currently costs $1,500.
According to Mr. Gurman’s sources, the company is currently focusing its efforts on this version of the AR/VR headset instead of AR glasses, and is targeting a launch date of about a year after the first version. The glasses were supposed to be released this year, but have now been delayed until at least 2025.
Considering one of the possible options for using such glasses, which could replace a smartphone, some employees of the company generally doubt that such things can be done. But the long-term R&D plan still remains. Most of Apple’s Technology Development Group employees, more than a thousand people, are currently working on AR/VR headsets. But there are also separate teams that deal with technologies for glasses.
Apple still shies away from commenting on such products.