Apple Reportedly Moving Into 'Second Phase' of AR Glasses Development [Updated]

Apple is about to enter the "second phase of development" of an augmented reality glasses prototype, according to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes story seen by MacRumors. The full report should be released by tomorrow with further details.

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In June 2020, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that Apple is developing both an AR/VR headset and AR-only glasses. Gurman said prototypes of Apple's headset resemble a smaller version of Facebook's Oculus Quest, while the glasses would be sleeker and lightweight. In an internal meeting, Apple reportedly said the headset may be announced in 2021 and released in 2022, while the glasses are expected in 2023 at the earliest.

Gurman claimed that Apple's glasses would overlay information such as text messages and maps in front of the wearer's eyes, and he also said that users will be able to control the glasses with Siri. His report added that Apple is planning an App Store for its AR/VR headset, but he did not indicate whether the storefront will extend to the glasses.

Earlier this week, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple suppliers are gearing up for an unspecified augmented reality device in 2021. Kuo also expects Apple's long-awaited AirTags item trackers, new AirPods, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Apple Silicon, and an iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display to be introduced throughout the year.

Update: The full report has been shared with a few more details. Following the second phase, the report claims that the glasses will go through a third phase of development a few months later. Upon completion of the prototype design, the wearable device is expected to go through a 6-9 month period for engineering verification. Apple is said to be focused on improving the device's weight and battery life.

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Top Rated Comments

AlexESP Avatar
46 months ago

Not sure why they’re going after a market that hasn’t shown any interest from the general public. Tim Cook has always had a soft spot for AR, but it’s never going to be more than a niche product.
The potential is clear, if “no one” has shown any interest it’s because nothing with AR has been useful so far. But I’m pretty sure it will be bigger than the Watch, and maybe the iPad, it’s a totally new category, and Apple is very good at that.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lounge vibes 05 Avatar
46 months ago

It’s gonna be so interesting how they get past the privacy issues that the ill fated Google glass suffered from. How do people know if they’re being recorded while walking down the street next to someone with these? Maybe all processing will be done on-device so nothing gets sent to Apple?
LiDAR cannot take pictures
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sam Squanch Avatar
46 months ago

So what's the point of this early, clunkier device? I can't see anyone walking down the street with an Occulus Quest strapped to their head. Is this going to be like a dev kit for the real thing down the road?
It's two different products, the "Occulus Rift" type will compete with current VR headsets that are made for in-home/business use. Whereas, from my understanding, the glasses will be for walking the streets etc as well as being stylish and look as close to "just a pair of glasses" as possible.

So, no... no one will be walking around with a big bulky thing attached to their face.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
superlawyer15 Avatar
46 months ago
Interested in the glasses but not interested in using Siri to interact with it.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Return Zero Avatar
46 months ago

Not sure why they’re going after a market that hasn’t shown any interest from the general public. Tim Cook has always had a soft spot for AR, but it’s never going to be more than a niche product.
The market isn't going to show interest until there is a compelling product out there. It was the same with the iPhone (and basically every other revolutionary device ever marketed).
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Paul_a Avatar
46 months ago
Astounding to me that people can't see the market potential of a successful version of these products. To wear glasses that provide a HUD with useful information without having to check your phone or watch... isn't this every person's dream? WHEN Apple successfully pulls this off, it will make the iPhone look like an antiquated device we can't remember ever needing. I mean... the potential of this is utterly unfathomable. Driving directions. Contextual information about something you're looking at. Guided IKEA assembly. Replacing every face you see on the street with an emoji. If you don't see the potential, you've never played a video game.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)