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Rumors about Apple AR (augmented reality) glasses have been flying for years, but recent reports suggest they could be arriving sooner than we thought.
The evidence to suggest an imminent launch is mounting. Apple has filed multiple patents relating to AR glasses, the first back in July 2017, which was renewed in February this year. Apple employees have also reportedly met with AR waveguide companies recently. Waveguides direct electromagnetic spectrum waves a certain way, for example, into a user’s line of sight.
Basic AR software has been part of Apple’s offerings since 2017’s iOS 11. Animojis work thanks to AR, as do some apps, such as Pokémon GO.
The “most accurate” Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, predicts the glasses will go into production as early as the end of 2019, or by the middle of 2020 at the latest. This aligns with a Bloomberg report from late 2017 suggesting a similar timeline.
Kuo also says the AR glasses will be an iPhone accessory, much like the Apple Watch. The heavy lifting will be done by the iPhone, with the glasses acting mostly as a display that also transmits visual information to the iPhone. This would mean the glasses can be streamlined in design, making them more comfortable and attractive to wear.
Of course, there is no price yet, and it’s tricky to guess a ballpark figure, as this will be the first gadget of its kind produced by Apple. Similar products already on the market range from $150 for the basic Snap Spectacles, to over $2000 for Microsoft’s versions.
Stay tuned for more updates.