We know that Apple has been developing an AR headset since at least 2017, but outside of what we gathered from files hidden in iOS 13.1 late last year though, which included a sizable trove of information on the company’s upcoming AR device, there’s been little else to go on in terms of capability, price, name, launch date—you know, basically everything you’d want to know when it comes to a pretty big moment in consumer augmented reality. Now, known leaker Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech has delivered an exclusive report on all of those things and more.
In a video report (linked below), Prosser says that Apple’s AR headset will be named ‘Apple Glass’, and will be priced at $499, which doesn’t include the price of the actual corrective lenses. The report maintains that Apple is set to deliver a stereoscopic AR headset (dual displays) in a glasses form-factor which is said to rely on an iPhone for all data processing.
Although he doesn’t explicitly say so, the image below is presented as the official logo.
Prosser allegedly saw a video of an Apple Glass prototype from “a few months ago,” which he describes as a set of plastic frames that recharge via a wireless charging stand. Prosser says the plastic frame may not be final, and that the frames themselves could be realized in metal. Apple also reportedly had their sights set on delivering a sunglasses version of Apple Glass, but Prosser says that the displays don’t work on tinted lenses.
As for Apple Glass’ supposed capabilities, Prosser reports that the device has an integrated LiDAR sensor in the right temple, which is used for gesture recognition and scanning proprietary QR codes. Like it was previously revealed in the iOS 13.1 files, Apple Glass’ UI will be named ‘Starboard’, Prosser says.
No camera was observed in the prototype Prosser alleges to have seen in the video, which he stipulates is for privacy reasons. If the report can be believed, LiDAR, like that in iPad Pro 2020, could also be tasked with providing the headset both 6DOF headtracking and object recognition via computer vision. In any case, Apple is reportedly collecting data obtained from iPad Pro users to refine Apple Glass moving forward.
Originally, Prosser says, Apple Glass was supposed to be a classic “One More Thing” at either the company’s Q4 2020 or Q1 2021 event this year, however the recent pandemic may push its debut back to October 2021 so the company can have its patented large-format, on-stage deluge of product announcements.
Public availability is said to arrive starting in Q1 2022, however Prosser maintains it might also ship as early as Q4 2021, both notable offsets from its supposed debut date.
Whether it’s a verifiable leak, or simply a case of Prosser gathering the most likely device features and upselling it as such, you can’t deny that many of the reported facts make a certain amount of sense. Why Apple would want to ape the same naming scheme of Google Glass, which was universally maligned for its nerdy aesthetics and attached ‘Glasshole’ portmanteau, definitely raises some questions for the skeptics out there though. Whatever the case, we’re taking this one with an extra large grain of salt until we can see for ourselves.