Apple could be planning a big augmented reality (AR) push with two new products launching in the next few years.
A new report says that Apple is working on an AR headset that’ll arrive first in 2022, followed by AR glasses with a “sleeker” design that will launch in 2023. The Information (via MacRumors) claims that Apple executives shared these details in an internal presentation to employees in October and that there were enough attendees to fill the 1,000 seats of the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park.
First up, the augmented reality headset is said to be codenamed N401 and will reportedly look like the Oculus Quest virtual reality headset (shown below), but with a sleeker design. Apple is said to be using “fabrics and lightweight materials” to make the headset comfortable to wear for extended periods.
Apple’s headset is expected to use a high-res screen so the wearer can read small type as well as cameras to allow them to see other people standing in front of and behind virtual objects. Apple is also planning to enable the headset to map the surfaces and dimensions of rooms with better accuracy than current devices.
Today’s report also says that Apple will contact third-party developers as soon as 2021 to get them to create apps for the headset.
And then there’s the sleeker glasses. Said to be codenamed N421, the current prototypes of this device are described as looking like high-priced sunglasses with “thick frames that house the battery and chips.”
Apple has shown an interest in augmented reality in recent years, like using the iPad to demonstrate AR games during events. Today’s report suggests that Apple’s interest in AR is strong enough that the company is working on dedicated AR products that could be its major products for the next decade. Because we may still be a few years out from seeing either of today’s rumored devices launch, the details of them could change before they actually release, but it’s no surprise to hear that Apple is exploring dedicated AR hardware.
Do you have any interest in an AR headset or AR glasses?