Augmented reality (AR) technology is a trending topic with techies and gamers and with this much market demand many tech companies are competing to develop user-friendly and affordable AR glasses. Apple also known for its innovative technology and designs had plans to release its AR glasses that could replace smartphones. However, recent reports indicate that the company has put the product release on hold due to technical challenges. In this post, we’ll explore these challenges and the probability of seeing this technology from Apple in near future.
Creating a lightweight, all-day wearable AR glasses device poses significant challenges for Apple. The company must find the right balance of components such as chips, batteries, software, and manufacturing to make it happen. Reports indicate that Apple’s initial high-end headset prototype will last only 2 hours on one charge, significantly less than most smartphones present in the current market. This will be really a roller coaster ride to Apple for designing this device since it needs a processor like Mac with the size of an iPhone. Additionally, the company continues to work on making the AR display look like normal glasses.
Cost is also another major challenge for Apple. The initial mixed reality device, set to debut this year, will cost around $3,000 due to advanced and high-resolution displays, more than 10 cameras, sensors, and both a Mac-grade M2 processor and a dedicated chip. This high cost may make this device an unaffordable product which will never make an impact on a global scale as Apple always intended to achieve.
Lower-Cost Mixed-Reality Headset
Instead of focusing on the development of AR glasses, Apple has decided to focus on a lower-cost version of its mixed-reality headset. According to sources familiar with the company’s plans, the lower-cost mixed-reality headset is set to debut in 2024 or early 2025 and will use chips on par with those in the iPhone rather than components found in higher-end Mac computers. This lower-cost version will be more accessible to the general public and will allow Apple to compete with Meta’s mixed-reality headset, which costs around $1,500.
While the idea of AR glasses that can replace our smartphones sounds interesting, the reality is that developing this technology is not as simple as it seems even Apple is putting in a lot of effort and still not yet sufficient. Microsoft and Google are also facing significant technical challenges and exorbitant costs in developing market fit product i.e. AR glasses. The company has decided to focus on a lower-cost version of its mixed-reality headset, which will be more accessible to the general public. Whether Apple will eventually release AR glasses or not remains to be seen, but for now, it seems that the company is taking a step back to focus on more achievable goals.