Ever since 2017, we’ve been seeing signs that Apple is working on possibly the next big thing in consumer technology: augmented reality (AR) glasses. Thanks to a growing number of leaks about Apple’s new glasses, rumors, and even patents in recent months, we now know roughly what to expect from the upcoming wearable device.
Apple AR glasses: the difference between AR and VR
You may have heard of VR (virtual reality) headsets, which have grown in popularity since the launch of the Oculus Rift in 2012. These are usually big, bulky and expensive game-oriented devices that are designed to completely block your view from the real world. Because of this, they can be really exciting for both gaming and professional tasks such as pilot training. However, their unwieldiness, immersion and dependence on a computer or game console makes them unsuitable for use on the road, let alone unfashionable.
However, AR (augmented reality) is different. AR glasses are transparent because they use clear lenses, and in most cases they simply add a digital overlay on top of your normal field of view. To make this work, augmented reality glasses can project a tiny screen onto one or both lenses for the user to see. The design of AR glasses is also typically lightweight and portable, like regular glasses, which means they can be used outdoors.
Recent sources suggest that Apple is working on both AR glasses and a separate VR and AR headset .
The cost of the Apple AR glasses is $3,000.
While Apple’s first AR/VR headset is expected to be quite expensive (presumably around $3,000), reputable insiders are already saying that Apple is developing cheaper models that will probably come out in 2024.
Last year, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared his expectation that an Apple AR headset would cost around $1,000 . Alternatively, a late-September 2021 Digitimes report suggested a price of $2,000, which is certainly more plausible. Other reputable analysts and whistleblowers, such as Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, have also hinted at a high price around $2,000 to $3,000.