Apple must unveil connected glasses, often referred to at this stage by their informal name “Apple Glass”. The device seems to be the culmination of a sustained offensive by Apple in virtual reality.
We know it, Apple excels at turning promising competitor technologies into successful innovations that are making a big splash in terms of sales. This was the case with smartphones, whose take-off was sluggish before the arrival of the iPhone, or mp3 players before the arrival of the iPod, among other examples.
Suddenly, the possibility that Apple goes on the offensive in connected glasses feeds intense hopes that the company will succeed in turning the failure of products like Google Glass into a success capable of bring about profound changes in the way we communicate, understand our environment, capture sound and video, consult content and perhaps even play, as suggested by a merger with Valve.
And all this while respecting the privacy of those you know while wearing these glasses. Apple has already shown its investment in augmented reality with technologies like ARKit. Apple thus seems to be one of the players best placed to succeed.
📆When will the Apple Glass be unveiled?
At this stage, giving a precise date seems even more uncertain because of the coronavirus crisis which slows down production lines, shifts the propensity to consume until later, and more generally disrupts the well-oiled plans of the major players in tech.
We thought until recently that the Apple Glass would be launched at the same time as the iPhone 12. However, it seems that the project is still far from being finalized, which would move the launch window somewhere between 2021 and 2023.
Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo estimates their release by 2022 at the earliest. For the DiGitimes site, the glasses would finally be presented in 2021.
💸What price for Apple Glass?
The latest leaks evoke a price of 499 dollars or 455 euros for glasses without prescription lenses (invoiced in addition). If this dollar price is confirmed, the price in euros will necessarily be higher, like the 2020 iPhone SE sold for $ 399 on the American store and € 489 in France.
🤔What is the real name of Apple smart glasses?
At this stage many media, of which we are part, have been referring for some time to future connected glasses from Apple by the term Apple Glass. This layer of the name Google Glass makes it possible to identify the product more immediately byno official name. It also seems to be taken up internally by Apple employees.
However nothing says these glasses will actually be called that when they launch. The history of the Apple Watch, for example, shows that the names are difficult to anticipate before release. Especially since in addition to the element of surprise, manufacturers must deal with legal considerations (in particular ensuring that the name can effectively become a registered trademark).
⚙️What will be the technical sheet of Apple Glass?
Youtubeur John Prosser claims to have been able to test a prototype of Apple Glass. What allowed to unveil some elements of their technical sheet. We know in particular that they have a LiDAR scanner to accurately measure distances. For now the LiDAR sensor would be located on the right corner of the mount.
We also know that these glasses will be impossible to use without iPhone. Like the Apple Watch, most of the data will be processed on the smartphone. There will also be a kind of dashboard called Starboard that you can control with gestures.
There would also be no versions with sunglasses, for technical reasons – the display system chosen by Apple would work poorly with this type of lens. A new system of proprietary QR Codes would also allow easy entry into virtual or augmented reality experiences.
Finally, the mysterious screen technology employed by Apple would resemble True Tone technology, and would allow the opacity and color of the glasses to be modulated according to the ambient light. These glasses would be sophisticated enough to be able to change color and opacity locally, for example behind a menu if necessary. Some patents even describe a method to dynamically correct vision problems without going to the optician.
🕶Why can Apple Glass succeed where Google failed?
One of the first reasons that can make all the difference is thatApple takes its time. Rumors around these glasses have been coming back regularly for several years. A time during which Apple has invested heavily in several components of its future virtual / augmented reality ecosystem.
The product itself seems, from what we know, to be placed in the category of mixed reality helmets HoloLens style, with all the same the ability to switch to a mode closer to VR by opacifying the glasses. Screen technology also seems to have given Apple engineers a lot of thought.
Where Google Glass projects information onto a corner of the right glass with low resolution, Apple is expecting a product that delivers a much richer and more gripping experience. Apple also prepared the content well in advance with ARKit (which is at version 3.5), and many content already available on iPad Pro, iPhone and other platforms.
This state of readiness is the main reason many observers are so impatient with the Apple product. This is also why a year ago, we were already saying that Apple is number 3 in the smartglasses market despite the absence of any product on the market.
👓What are the most anticipated features of Apple Glass?
First, Apple Glass must not fall into the same pitfalls as Google Glass. First on the sensors: we hope that any video or sound recording will be visible, so that these glasses do not become a kind of mass spy tool with the dangers that this implies, especially for privacy .
In the United States, the carriers of Google Glass had received the nickname Glassholes contraction of the insult “ass holes” which goes without translation and Glass to designate the glasses. The other expected functionality is innovative screens that deliver a truly rich AR / VR experience.
Instead of just giving a glimpse of a more successful future product. Because Apple will fail if it doesn’t catch everyone by surprise. The firm must absolutely show a proprietary technology inaccessible to its competitors immediately, which it knows how to do. As with Face ID recognition for example, which very few competitors have succeeded in emulating.
We also hope, even if it is a little contradictory with the fact that the video or audio socket must be visible from the outside, that they will have a discreet and trendy design, that they are easy to wear. Finally, their autonomy must be sufficient to use them continuously during the day.