The discussions and rumours surrounding the release of the Apple mixed reality headset is something that has been in conversation for the last few years. With the 2021 Apple conference being held remotely, the accessibility of the event is more widespread than ever. The Apple Glasses were said to be a prediction of the new upcoming headset, but it seems that the mixed reality headset may be coming sooner than we think.
According to analyst Ming-Cho Kuo the upcoming headset could be released as early as 2022 which could be followed closely behind by the launch of the glasses in 2025. Kuo said: “We predict that Apple’s MR/AR product roadmap includes three phases: helmet type by 2022, glasses type by 2025, and contact lens type by 2030–2040,” the analyst reports. “We foresee that the helmet product will provide AR and VR experiences, while glasses and contact lens types of products are more likely to focus on AR applications.”
What is Mixed Reality?
Mixed reality within the tech world is a medium that combines computer generated environments with physical ones. It creates a virtual space, and is a blend of both the physical and the digital worlds.
Mixed Reality is housed and platformed by hardware that can work alongside different virtual programs. For example with smart glasses that are already in the market, such as the Amazon Echo frames or the Bose Audio frames which can work alongside Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa. These glasses in particular rely on audio and bluetooth to function but future smart eyewear will be able to implement technology into the lens itself.
Mixed Reality can be both virtual reality and augmented reality. Augmented reality allows people to superimpose digital constructs into the real world environment and virtual reality is a simulated experience that can be extremely different to a real world environment. The awaited Apple Glasses would be an augmented reality pair of glasses and would provide functionality to the users.
Apple AR Glasses
The mixed reality headsets will be released first to house those aligned with virtual reality needs, but the rumoured Apple Glasses could be here as quickly as 2025.
The features of the Apple Glasses will be augmented reality glasses and will be designed for everyday use, just like with other technological wearables like the Apple smartwatch.
Sources say that Apple Glasses will house data and information that is synchronised with a handset or phone. It will display emails, notifications, naps and games that would show up on your phone but in the lens of the user. As the glasses will be augmented reality, it will be a digital imprint on the real life world, so the user will still see their environment around them, even with the glasses in use. With the Apple Glasses in particular, the glasses would bear resemblance to a traditional pair of glasses, making them more wearable in a day to day world.
Just as with Apple TV and Apple watch, it is predicted that the Apple Glasses will have its own app store and operating system. The interface of the glasses is still in development, however, virtua commands can be used to aid the operation of real world situations. For example, while reading a user manual for a device, you could implement those commands virtually using the data that the glasses had collected on you.
The command would be tracked with something called a track ringer that would be worn on the finger to track common movements made by the user. For example, when writing with a pen, the smart ringer could make this writing into virtual text and store it. This would also contribute to the data collected on you by the glasses to streamline your day to day actions, for example, your route to work. Of course, the virtual features of the glasses can be turned on and off.
An exciting feature of the awaited Apple glasses is the chance for them to still be worn by the visually impaired and notifying them of their immediate environment. From telling them a person is sitting in front of them, to notifying them of a danger in their nearby circumference, the Apple Glasses are predicted to change the face of tech and user experience forever.