We’re talking, of course, about the tech giant’s first-ever augmented reality headset, but contrary to what many (semi) recent reports suggested, this envelope-pushing thing may not prove ready for primetime in 2023… or even in 2024 or 2025.
Who’s ready to shell out $3,000?
Unfortunately, that’s roughly how much Mark Gurman expects Apple’s rookie mixed reality hardware effort to end up costing “this year.” Sounds prohibitive? Even the company itself is purportedly well aware of that, nonetheless going forward with the undoubtedly state-of-the-art product to “test the limits” of its hardcore fans’ money-spending willingness.
Your (not so) small fortune will apparently buy you “more than 10 cameras”, several “advanced and high-resolution” displays, a bunch of sensors designed to track a user’s eyes at all times, as well as a pretty insane-sounding combination of a Mac-grade M2 processor and a “dedicated chip for handling AR and VR visuals.”
The Microsoft HoloLens 2 (pictured here) is a super-expensive MR headset that hasn’t exactly proven popular with the masses.
That’s right, the mixed reality (MR) device will look to bring the best of both the AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) worlds together in one package sadly but predictably described as “cumbersome” in these latest reports.
Even so, the super-premium mixed reality headset is not expected to last more than two hours on a single charge, which is certainly not ideal from an… immersion standpoint.
Does $1,500 sound better?
We obviously know the answer to that question, but with such a great price cut come some pretty major compromises, including a processing power downgrade to the general iPhone level.
It’s unclear if this lower-cost and lower-end mixed reality headset, which could arrive “as soon as 2024”, will somehow pull off a battery life improvement, but what’s pretty much etched in stone is that “all-day” headsets (or glasses) are a long time from materializing (if they will ever become a commercial reality).
Apple Glass concept by Technizo Concept
The reasons are of course complex and not entirely clear yet, but the bottom line seems to be that the technology is simply not there to pull off a lightweight pair of AR (not MR or VR) glasses with a built-in battery capable of lasting a full day and all the other necessary components to put notifications, phone calls, photos, and the rest of your typical mobile content in front of your very eyes.
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