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Apple’s mythical AR glasses may launch as early as 2022

Published Mar 24th, 2020 4:06PM EDT
Apple Glasses
Image: Martin Hajek

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  • Apple may release its long-rumored AR glasses as early as 2022.
  • Apple has long considered augmented reality to be a next-gen feature, with Tim Cook noting it has the potential to be as much of a game-changer as the iPhone.
  • Rumors of Apple releasing augmented reality-powered glasses have been making the rounds for years, though it remains unclear if the product will ever make it out of the development stage.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Remember a few years ago when the biggest Apple rumor centered around whether or not Apple was going to design its own HDTV? One day there’d be a report claiming that a branded Apple TV was just a year or two out and the next there’d be a report indicating that Apple abandoned the project entirely.

These days, a similar dynamic has emerged involving Apple’s mythical AR glasses project. Rumors of Apple releasing a pair of smart glasses have persisted for nearly four years at this point. The first rumor claimed that Apple would release AR glasses as early as 2018. Then that date shifted to 2020. Then we heard rumblings that the project was canceled altogether. And now comes word from Digitimes claims that Apple’s AR glasses could launch as early as 2022.

Digitimes has something of a spotty track record with respect to Apple rumors, so you might want to take the report with a grain of salt. Still, it’s worth noting that we’ve seen a handful of similar reports over the past few months from more credible sources.

Late last year, for instance, a report from The Information also relayed that Apple is planning to release AR glasses (and perhaps a headset as well) sometime in 2022. The report specifically claimed that Apple executives openly discussed the product in front of a group of 1,000 Apple employees.

You might also recall that code found in an iOS 13 build from a few months ago contained references to AR applications and devices.

The release timeline aside, and if we assume that Apple is, in fact, planning to bring a pair of AR glasses to the market, just what exactly is the product going to bring to the table?

Well from what we’ve gathered so far, Apple has done a solid job of miniaturizing the technology inside such that the glasses will effectively look like regular glasses, with moderately “thick frames that house the battery and chips.”

Functionality wise, the glasses will be positioned as an accessory and will display pertinent information in real-time. Some older rumors regarding Apple’s AR glasses claimed that the device will be able to field calls and will include a microphone for both phone and Siri access. We also saw a report claiming the glasses will include an accelerometer to register commands when a user moves his head to face a different direction.

Lastly, a report from a few years back indicated that Apple’s AR glasses will not come with a camera in the interest of preserving battery life.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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