Here's all we know about Apple's AR glasses and VR headsets

Here we gather everything we know about Apple’s spring and year glasses.

2021-03-24: Apple’s vr headset is said to weigh less than an Iphone

Then it’s time for a bulletin. Note the common b. So we are not talking about Swedish sandboxes, but about an announcement from the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, whose crystal ball is always full of visions from the city of Cupertino in California.

Well. This time, Kuo states that Apple’s still mythical sun and / or vr headsets will weigh 150 grams. It is fewer grams than those required to make an Iphone 12 work, and definitely more lightweight than many of today’s vr / ar headsets.

Prophet Kuo also lets us ordinary dead know that Apple’s headsets have “ultra-short focal lengths”, plastic lenses and screens made with micro-OLED technology.

2021-02-05: 8k screens in Apple’s vr headset

A banana-shaped Iphone with fabric pillows and Apple Watch-like interchangeable straps for around SEK 30,000? That’s about what we have to expect if new information from the site The Information (payment wall) is in line with reality.

The Information states that they got to see “internal Apple photos of an advanced prototype” from last year. Based on them, the site has since made an illustration that is said to represent the prototype.

Read more: This is how close we are to the technology in Ready Player One

And with the illustration, a vr headset appears that looks significantly neater and lighter than the ones that Oculus and HTC have produced so far. In fact, it’s a bit like the characters in the movie Ready Player One have over the eyes.

Illustration from the site The Information. Photo: The Information

Ready Player One. Foto: Warner Bros

Apple’s vr headset is expected to be equipped with more than twelve cameras to track the user’s hands and to reproduce the surroundings. Of course, lidar is one of the sensors in that set: it has always felt logical that Apple’s use of lidar in recent Iphone and Ipad models was just a warm-up to their investment in virtual and augmented reality.

The screens in front of each eye are said to have 8k resolution, which is significantly higher than what their most well-known rivals can perform. But 8k can be really interesting in the context of VR, given how close the eyes are to the screen, and if the cameras that film the surroundings can handle the same resolution.

However, rendering 8k graphics in a vr headset is demanding for any processor – including the more powerful-than-M1 chip that Apple is said to build for the purpose (see below) – so the idea is to use eye-tracking technology and foveated rendering for to save on the forces.
We would not be surprised if the Swedish eyetracking giants Tobii are involved in the project, but it is just pure speculation.
Update: A reader who read this text reminded that Apple a few years ago bought the eye tracking company SMI (Sensomotoric Instruments), which of course makes it likely that Apple is developing its own technology in this area.

Another interesting detail in The Information’s article is that Apple is said to be working with an accessory similar to a thimble, with which the user could interact with the virtual environments.

Also exciting: the headset is said to include an outward-facing screen on which one should be able to see what the user is seeing.

A thin headset with so much performance undeniably sounds expensive, but the information that it can cost SEK 30,000 still feels hard to believe. If not, Apple has abandoned its plans to sell this to consumers, and decided to invest in corporate customers instead.

And what happens to the smart glasses that Apple is also said to work with? They learn to deal with what they are suffering from, but are considered to be a bit further into the future. So vr-headset first, ar-headset later. If we are to believe in the information that is now flourishing.

2021-01-21 – Development problems – but Apple is still working with vr headsets

It’s been a while since we last heard anything, but now Bloomberg has come across new information about Apple’s investments in virtual and augmented reality.

Do you have the salt shaker ready? Good, then we’re driving.

Rose. It is said to be the name of the operating system that will form the basis for Apple’s upcoming vr headset. Games and other applications will be sold in a special version of the App Store.

The Vr headset is said to have throughput with certain ar functions. What does it mean? Yes, throughput means that a vr headset has external cameras that allow the user to see their surroundings even when they have the vr headset in front of their eyes. With the cameras as eyes, it will of course also be possible to add virtual objects – ie ar – in the environment.

The headset, with support for contact lenses, is said to be stand-alone in the same way as Facebook’s Oculus Quest models, but much more powerful, if Bloomberg’s information is correct. In fact, Apple seems to be looking at circuits that have asked for more than the so-called M1 chips.

Something more? Well, the headset is rumored to have a higher resolution compared to the rivals on the market today, and can therefore, unsurprisingly, come with a juicy price tag.

2020-05-19 – Apple Glass can be launched this year

Apple’s smart glasses will be named Apple Glass and will cost 499 dollars. They may be launched as early as the fourth quarter of this year, and will be released in stores no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2021.

At least that is the opinion of the diligent Apple leak Jon Prosser, who claims to have seen pictures of Glass prototypes.

– From what I have seen, the frames are made of plastic, but there is a good chance that there will be some form of metal in the finished versions, says Prosser in his Youtube program Front Page Tech.

The first generation of Apple Glass should be similar to the first generation of the Apple Watch in such a way that much of the data processing will take place on a – I guess bluetooth-connected – Iphone.

This means that Apple can keep the cost of the device down and at the same time offer a design that is similar to ordinary traditional glasses. Prosser says that the prototype he has seen provides support for that information.

Read more: With tomorrow’s internet, our world will never be the same again

Both glasses should be able to display visual information via an interface that Apple calls Starboard.

At the right temple it is said to be a lidar sensor. That sounds reasonable, considering that Apple has baked a lidar sensor into the new Ipad Pro and is rumored to do the same with the upcoming Iphone 12.

– And the lidar data generated from the iPad Pro goes straight to the Apple Glass developers, says Prosser and reminds that the user must first agree to share such data with Apple.

No other cameras should be mounted on the glasses. I guess it’s because Apple wants to avoid the criticism that Google received for its Glass models.

The interface must be able to be controlled by touching the frames or by gestures with the hands in front of the glasses.

Some sunglasses versions do not seem to be relevant at the moment.

2019-11-11 – Information on ar-glasses 2023

Apple will release a headset capable of both virtual and augmented reality in 2022. A pair of glasses in a smaller form factor will arrive in 2023. This is information from the site The Information, whose sources are said to have read internal presentations at Apple. The information contradicts previous reports of a headset or a pair of glasses already in 2020. According to the site The Verge, it may be that the development has been more complicated than expected.

The headset is said to go under the working name N301 and should be like a slimmer variant of Oculus Quest – a headset Ny Teknik recently reviewed.

Oculus Quest has a throughput camera with which the user can see a grainy version of his surroundings, but which is only used to draw a playing surface and to warn the user if it is about to collide with an object. Oculus Quest is otherwise a pure vr headset.

The N301 also seems to use throughput, but I guess the reproduction will be significantly better. It should be able to display information and combine virtual objects with physical environments. It is thus also reminiscent of Magic Leap.

The Ar-glasses that are said to be planned to be released in 2023 are said to be reminiscent of a pair of expensive sunglasses. One idea Apple should have played with is to make the glasses darker when they are active – to indicate to the environment that the user is busy.

According to The Information, senior executives at Apple have stated that the AR glasses may replace the iPhone within ten years.

2019-11-05 – Apple is said to collaborate with Valve

Iphone-makarna Apple. And Valve, the company behind the gaming platform Steam. The two giants are now reported to be working side by side to develop Apple’s mythical augmented reality glasses.

Of course, American Valve has expertise in this area: the company has been deeply involved in the construction of the vr headset HTC Vive and has also built Index on its own, one of the more powerful vr headsets in the consumer market right now.

Earlier this year, the site Digitimes wrote that Apple was about to wind up the group that worked on developing scar glasses. However, that information did not appear to be consistent with information in the internal version of the Ios 13 operating system that the Macrumors site had come up with. In the internal code construction there are lots of references to an ar-headset.

Digitimes now states that this was not a liquidation, but a reorganization to enable the collaboration with Valve.

Valve has worked with Apple before. Two years ago, the company helped make the MacOS High Sierra operating system compatible with vr headsets.

Digitime’s data is in line with what analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a month ago: “Apple is working with external companies to launch its first ar-headset.” Kuo is of the opinion that the unit will start mass production before the turn of the year and that there may even be a launch in early 2020.

Whether it will be a headset like Magic Leap, or a simpler variant where a duplicate of the iPhone screen is displayed in front of the eyes remains to be seen, but according to the scarce information available, it is probably the latter.

In any case, it is clear that Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, believes that augmented reality is the future.

– I think it will change everything. In a couple of years, we will not be able to imagine life without it, Tim Cook said recently, in an HBO-broadcast TV interview commissioned by the media company Axios.

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