Apple has been working for years on an augmented reality viewer that will not need the iPhone to work and will have the power of a computer.
Apple’s rumored augmented reality glasses could hit the market next year. They would also be equipped with a power chip similar to the M1 processor that the company uses in many of the computers it sells right now.
It’s the bet made by Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, who predicts the launch in the last quarter of 2022.
The device will be completely autonomous, without the need to connect via a cable to an iPhone or a Mac, as was rumored on occasion, and will allow the image of the visual field to be mixed with digital elements to work and play.
Kuo, who has access to a large number of sources within the production chain that Apple uses, is usually quite reliable in his predictions. Last September, for example, he revealed many of the details of the iPhone 13 or the existence of a third generation of AirPods headphones, although they were finally released later than predicted.
The first version of these smart glasses from Apple will look similar to ski goggles and will have eight external cameras to capture everything that happens in the user’s field of vision and broadcast it as a video signal to the screens inside the device.
Other eight sensors will be added to these cameras, and those sensors shall be able to capture the movement of the user’s hands to control the different games and applications. The glasses will also be able to know where the user is looking, which would allow better use of the processing power to create highly realistic scenes in areas where the eye is able to see in greater detail.
The glasses can also be used for virtual reality applications, not just augmented reality, they will weigh about 200 or 300 grams and will be covered with fabric. The two integrated displays (one for each eye) will have 4K resolution and will be manufactured by Sony, according to Kuo. The goal is for the device to compete with other virtual or augmented reality headsets on the market, such as Microsoft’s Hololens or Meta’s Oculus Quest (Facebook).
Apple would also be working on a more compact model, with the appearance of conventional glasses that will allow you to see the world directly and superimpose virtual elements on any scene. This is a more complex design that will take a few years to reach the market.
According to Kuo, Apple believes that these types of smart glasses will eventually replace the iPhone and other smartphones in about a decade. The company has shown interest in recent years in augmented reality applications, but for now, it uses only the iPhone or iPad screen to interact with the different virtual objects.